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Paddington 2 (2017)
Dangit! Made me cry...
2 September 2018
I'll be derned if they didn't make my eyes leak on this one. It was all smiles and delight until the very end. They just had to go and smack me with the feels.

If Paddington did steal your heart in the first one (which he should have), he will in this one.

Hugh Grant was BRILLIANT!! I was honestly shocked by his performance. I've always respected his ability as an actor but he was just showing off in this one. Ha. So fun.

This was just a sweet sweet tale. Lots of giggles and smiles, and heartfelt moments.

Great cast. Great movie. Highly recommend.
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Searching (III) (2018)
Excellent storytelling!
2 September 2018
I was just utterly entertained and delighted by this film. Because it was just SO well done.

It's innovative cinematography was not presented at the sacrifice of a well-crafted and compelling story. Unlike the Blair Witch Project, these filmmakers put as much time and care into their story as they did with this method of filming. They could have honestly filmed this in the traditional way and it would have still been a worthwhile movie outing. This was indeed a solid work of art.

Even with so many moments absent of dialogue or even human characters to watch, the film was always forward moving. The suspense and mystery continuously builds until the very last moments.

There were so many twists and turns, they made it impossible to truly predict what was going on. At one point we predicted one thing that did unfold but we were almost immediately surprised by another new turn.

There was a story, there was substance, there was intrigue, there was heart. And there wasn't a thing presented in the film that did not contribute to the story.

They made my heart break and my heart leap. Made me hold my breath and exclaim with surprise. Made me smile...even made me reminisce a little (due to my particular age).

John Cho delivers yet another excellent performance. It was a refreshing role to see him play. He just broke my heart the whole film. I just wanted to reach out and hug him!

It was also extremely refreshing to see Debra Messing in this type of role. Nothing I'd EVER seen her do and she was just great.

Great cast, in general, tho very small, given the story was told so exclusively from the father's perspective.

I really could just go on and on about this movie that I had oddly never heard of...very undoubtedly a hidden gem in the theatres right now.

I 100% recommend taking a trip to the theatre for this one.
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Jack Ryan (2018– )
4 eps in and done...
31 August 2018
First a disclaimer: IMDB mis-labeled the rating for this show. Listed as TV-14, when it is actually TV-MA. Had I known this I would have never watched. While my review is not solely based on the unsavory content involved in this series, it is heavily influenced by it.

Four stars for John Krasinski alone, because he's spectacular but that has little to do with this show.

Firstly, I am pretty over the whole America vs. the Middle East narrative. But, it is a reflection of current events, so I I try to be fair and give a show a chance in the event it may be focused earnestly. I didnot get far enough into the show to formulate my opinion. It seemed like they were on the path of this whole there are no good or bad guys, everyone sucks kind of narrative. The terrorists were first victims of the "good guys". The good guys are a bunch of self-righteous bigoted jerks who just so happen to be on the right side of things right now. Doesn't really leave you with anyone to root for...Jack Ryan is of course, a truly good guy, but that's seemingly it. But for the title character, I felt like I was seeing far less of him than made sense.

It becomes clear that there is a vert seedy air to this show. It's not TV-MA because of the violence. The violence is pretty far. sure enough, the first occurence. Watching two people have sex. Because that was necessary and important to the story (sarcasm). A woman disrobed with FULL back nudity, some side boob, and then the thrusting. Pointless. The fact that I have to even make the concession, 'well it was shown from the shoulders up'... I begrudgingly toss out the first red flag and carry on. Next comes an entirely graphic and TWISTED scene of two men and a woman. Everything is shown except genitalia. From start to finish, loud moaning, groping of breast, all while one of the sickly men watches. I'm not sure how it ended or if got worse (or somehow better), because I tried hitting the 10 second button THREE times, but the scene refused to end and I had to just cut it off. Not only is this sick and dark and ugly, the act of displaying this behavior is also, at it's core, entirely base and immoral. There is NO reason to depict this. It serves no purpose-it doesn't assist the plot. It can literally just be mentioned. Show the moments leading up to it, show the aftermath or talk about the aftermath, whatever. This is entirely indulgent and unnecessary. And it's minutes on the clock stolen from telling me an actual story. Minutes that I could have been watching John Kraskinski, the lead, who again, I felt was getting FAR less screen time than sensible for the title character. Glorified pornography, masked as sophisticated story-telling, is still pornography.

I waited months, months, and months for this show to arrive. To the day. I kept watching that countdown on my fire stick. And I even chose to stay up past midnight to start the journey. I was SO excited to see Krasinski revive this role. I was so excited by the incredible rating and reviews and the fact that it was renewed already, leading me to believe it was a shoe-in. And yet, instead what I got was political agenda, a humans suck narrative, and smut.

I'm all for realistic, complex characters. But there has to be something redemptive. Or at least make me laugh in the midst of all the horridness I'm seeing. Something. Otherwise, I'm just watching what I hours of depression-worthy darkness. No thanks. I see enough of the darkness this world is capable of in real life. I don't need this dead horse beaten in fiction.

I'm sure Krasinski is just aces in this role. But sadly I'll never know.
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Not a total waste, but badly underdeveloped...
27 August 2018
First, I'll say I didn't dislike this film. I just had some significant issues with it.

My very first reaction to the film was confusion. I didn't get it. I'm a pretty avid film viewer so I can usually pick up things even when it's not spelled. But, I literally found myself exclaiming "What are the rules??!" I just didn't understand the nature of this fiction's fiction. This is a true science fiction tale. With magical creatures, supernatural occurrences and such. When introducing new sci-fi elements and characters you have to explain it. And they did not do a good job of this. They started to, but they just continued to fall short in fully acclimating us to what we were experiencing. I actually rewound the movie to see if I had just missed something that would help me better understand what was happening. Unfortunately, the very first action sequence required me to understand these rules and I think I was able to piece about 60% of it all together. Fortunately, it was completely integral to the story so I could still get the gist of it.

Character development was lacking. As this film is titled after the lead character, I failed to see what was so special about this guy that he would be the one we're watching. "Invaluable" was how he was described. I didn't understand why he was chosen for this particular journey/adventure. We were told a lot about him without really getting to see it. They went more into detail about how he was a guy with commitment issues and a lack of ability to openly express himself. But, there was less focus on what his especially special qualities were. Why was he such a well sought-after agent? He never did anything particularly impressive to answer this. He was pretty much just a guy in a situation.

The chemistry between Valerian and Laureline was severely lacking. Laureline seemed to legitimately dislike him. We never given a opportunity to see the best parts of their relationship. There was nothing about the two of them together that I liked or made me think, oh yea, they're great together. Why were they ever together? When he was smiling and laughing she was frowning and scowling without ever a crack of a smile. I had absolutely no interest in them. And they didn't even seem to figure anything out to make me say "yay, they're going to live happily ever after." In fact, I'm 95% sure they won't last. Not by real-world standards.

I felt like they couldn't decide if they wanted Laureline to be a self-sufficient but-kicking sergeant or a damsel in distress. In one moment, she's undefeated and self-assure of her ability, the next she needs saving. Then she's back to being a butt-kicker again. I suppose this happened to give us a showcase of Valerian's importance, but it failed to do that. Again, nothing especially special about Valerian or Laureline honestly. She seemed brooding and cold and even angry the first hour of the film. Overtly so. There was nothing about the three Doghan Daguis characters that justified the way she treated them. They might have been opportunists, but they weren't bad.

I very much like Dane and have no issues with Cara, but I couldn't fully sink into them in these roles. Maybe because there are just too many actors in the biz that come to mind more capable of pulling off these roles with less effort and more skill. I felt like the voice-over work done by all the actors was very poorly delivered. It diminished the pacing of the film when the graphics took over.

Rihanna....sigh...nothing personal against her, but this just wasn't the right choice. I will say this is the next best acting performance I've seen from her, Ocean's 8 being her best. And my greatest issue with her character had less to do with her and more with the writing. Her character came and went with little impact on the story and reason. They tried to turn her relationship with the lead character into something deeper than what they actually showed us, so it fell flat. Didn't make sense. Couldn't dive into it. Maybe they intend(ed) to follow up with this subplot in the rumored sequel?? No idea, but her exit seemed to be grossly pointless as well as completely out of the blue.

Comic tone. This was yet another aspect of the film that was not fully formed. I could tell they were looking to set a light, comedic tone throughout the film, but they just couldn't find their groove. It was introduced too late and inconsistent. It appears this might have been the fault of the acting or direction or possibly both.

There were a few supporting characters that were introduced and then just kind of tossed out. Like Bob the Pirate and Ethan Hawke's character. Bob was introduced in a very significant way, but very soon after, he was just gone. There was nothing memorable or especially special about him, so why give him the screen time?? His scenes could have been carried out simply with more focus on the principal character involved. He came and went with hardly a trace. I just remember thinking, I feel like they could have achieved that whole part of the story in an altogether different way. They either spent too much time including an unimportant character or maybe Bob just ended up getting a major axe in the editing room? Idk...

The visual component was great. Graphics were fun and compelling.

I couldn't understand why this endangered group of people would walk into a room full of people they knew were trying to kill them with no plan, no weapons or protection and just stand there. No one speaks or does was weird.

Thoughts and concepts for this film just didn't seem to be fleshed out to completion.

There was just a lot about the film that left me saying "Why?"

Again, there were some elements of the film that were entertaining, for sure. But, this movie fell short in so very many ways.

It's worse when a movie has a very clear potential to be better.
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Cloak & Dagger (2018– )
Base, Boring, and indulgently Depressing...
19 August 2018
I give it 3 stars because the writers did create a level of intrigue and I liked the casting of the principal characters. But, that's all I can give it.

I usually give a new show 2 pilots to convince me. But because this is Marvel, I gave the show even more grace. Sadly, 5 episodes (i.e. 5 hours) later I felt I had not only wasted my time but subjected myself to filth I usually don't allow into my home.

I don't care how many shows or movies come along or how many more decades I live through, I will NEVER be entertained or okay with or feel it's justifiable to portray children having sex. Sorry! NOPE. I don't care if these are young legal adults portraying children, they are representing children. I don't like watching ANYONE having sex on film. And this show has far too much of it. When they had the nerve to open episode 6 the way they did, I was done. I should have been done sooner, but again, I kept giving them grace where they didn't deserve it. Pointless, has-nothing-to-do-with-ANYTHING sex. Completely unnecessary and base. This TV-14 rating is debatable. I guess because they don't air the sound or don't show faces, or show us the last two thrusts, that makes it okay. Smh...Or maybe there's been a mistake. Maybe Hulu mislabeled it? Idk...Had I known about the content in this show, I would have never hit the play button.

Now to the actual story...when are we going to actually get to it?? 5 episodes in and not a thing worth a chit-chat has happened. And I don't like Tandy. I just don't. Yes, she's had a rough life, but that's no excuse for just being a whack human being. It just explains it. All I'm thinking is, you come from this sad background and you have this kind of mental ingenuity and this is your choice?? I have no cans for her. None. I can empathize with her situation but I can't justify or like how this girl is living. She has NO redeeming qualities. Am I supposed to feel sorry for her and therefore be endeared to her and excuse all the mess she's doing? Like is she or isn't she the heroine of this tale? If so, when's she going to do something justifiable and superheroish? Or is that not what this show is? See, even if indeed that's NOT what this show is, these questions should have been squashed by now. I'm 5 episodes in and I'm still trying to figure what I've gotten myself into. I'm still asking what's the point? Truthfully, I feel this way about all the characters, except for Tyrone's family. I did like Tyrone and his mom and dad. But, they're so sad. Sweet at times, representing a good family structure, but good grief are they sad. Sad after a while gets boring. Oh and I did like Tandy's boyfriend. He had an endearing quality, but he's ratchet too, and he's also supporting cast, so only so much I can work with there. But Tandy sucks, Tandy's mom sucks, the lawyer sucks, Tyrone's teammates suck, apparently the parents of the players of his opposing team suck, the Roxxon staff sucks, and then the rest of the characters are either forgetful or villains. So, there's no one to really like here. The three best characters of the show are little Tyrone, little Tandy and Billy. We get like 5 minutes with Billy. And I'm sure I just like little Tyrone and Tandy mostly because of how danged precious they are.

It has taken 5 episodes for these two teens to just figure out something is going on and get curious. If they take this long to decide to investigate and develop their powers, good Lord, how long before we actually see them start doing something worthwhile with their powers?? I don't have that kind of time or patience. Sorry.

Again, I think the cast is great. It's the characters, the writing, I don't like. This whole I'm sad and feeling sorry for myself with NOTHING to balance that with, makes for one heck of a deadpan journey. NO comic relief, NO complex personality traits, NO happy moments, NO redemption, no thrills...just sulking and bad choices and bad people and the world is bad and melo-dramatic indie pop tunes underscoring everything. Yeeaaa....I'm good.
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Stranger Things (2016– )
Brilliant ride!
4 August 2016
I'm mad I waited so long to watch this. It was sitting in my queue for the longest and I had no idea what I was denying myself. What a great cast, such a compelling and intriguingly woven tale. The music was so invoking yet non-invasive. That title graphic alone is brilliant. As an 80s baby the sounds and the visuals brought on some serious nostalgia. Goodness, I'm sure there's something wrong with this show, but there's so much good about it, I either didn't notice or it doesn't matter.

Well, I guess the negative could be that it's ONLY 8 episodes long! Oy! Now I have to figure out what to do with myself. Here comes the binge crash.

Good stuff! Good good stuff!
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Maggie (I) (2015)
Not sure what the point of this film was...
3 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This film really seemed to slowly go nowhere. I appreciated the concept, viewing the apocalypse from a different vantage point. Instead of the aftermath, we spend time looking at the emotional devastation of the onset. I like that. But, I feel like the concept was underserved.

I also appreciated what seemed to be the rawest dramatic performance from Schwarzenegger I've ever seen. But, that's more a credit to him than to the film.

It felt as though they weren't sure who to make this movie about. Maggie or her father or both or neither. In the beginning we're following her father very closely, often times without seeing Maggie, the title character, at all. Then suddenly it's the reverse and we're following Maggie, without hardly seeing the father at all. Their absences are a little confounding during moments when it just didn't make sense they weren't there. There was a lot of mystery intentionally set up but never solved or resolved.

--SPOILERS-- When did she leave home? Was it after she was bitten or before? If it was before, why? Why was he given such preferential treatment? Who was he that the doctor and officer would be so willing to bend the rules for him concerning Maggie's condition? What was the point of the family condition? What was the significance of Maggie being the daughter from his first marriage? This did not affect character arcs or the plot line in any way. What was the point of the young man who was sick and discovering that he had once been Maggie's boyfriend and that she broke up with him and they rekindle their relationship? What was the point of the moment when he locks himself in the bathroom and is then very simply taken away?

What I'm trying to say is, there was an awful lot of (feigned) foreshadowing that never actually developed into any significant events. Over an hours worth of dramatic feelings about a bad thing that ended in a pretty uneventful and (honestly) sensible way. Why was Maggie's story so important? Why were we watching her and her father go through this and not her boyfriend and his father, or the Bonnie lady and her family? What on earth was the reason for putting pen to paper here?

There was nothing special about Maggie. She was, in fact, quite unexceptional. There was nothing special about her father, or at least that was not revealed to us.

The greatest conflict was that of the officer that wanted to take Maggie away, but that problem went away (too easily) after a short (and unconvincing) brawl.

There was no greater message of redemption. There was no societal commentary. No symbolism, no deeper meaning. It really just was what it simply was. And what it was was a very boring waste of time.
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Person of Interest: The Cold War (2014)
Season 4, Episode 10
31 December 2015
I'm not even done watching, but this has been a brilliant episode! The format has been done before but this is the best I've seen. Such brilliant writing. Dangit...everything I want to say is a spoiler, so I'll just leave it here. This show is just so excellently crafted and this episode has especially emulated this fact.

I tell you, it's always a guarantee that when watching a JJ Abrams production you're going to get a pool of well-rounded, deeply designed characters. So different, yet so complimentary to one another and the story. Down to the awesome dog. Even the dog has an interesting personality. I love every character. Even the ones I dislike! Just such a good show!
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RoboCop (2014)
Don't compare! The movie has it's own merit!
4 May 2015
I was pleasantly surprised with this film. After having heard the criticisms, I expected this movie to be bad. Know why I expected it to be bad?? Because I saw the original and the original was bad! I mean, come on folks! OG Robocop was a revolutionary film, but it wasn't a great movie. And it's sequels were even worse. The over-saturated violence and profanity. The unbelievable villains. It was a poor film. And don't tell me you feel the graphics in that film hold up today! No way.

This movie, however, completely rebooted the story, sticking true to its essence, but telling it in a new way. As honestly a reboot should! Different man, different tragedy, different suit, different experiences, updated to reflect our modern day technological advances. The movie is a GOOD movie! Sheesh!

And let me say, I thought the actor Finnaman gave an awesome performance. His most dramatic scene, I thought, was just bone-chilling. I could completely empathize. Gary Oldman wins always...liked the wife-didn't have any issues with the casting.

My reasons for a 7-star rating was because I did feel that the climax, or finale, if you will, was just a tad lackluster. Just a tad though! I think I would have preferred the villain to be a little more villainous throughout the film than in just those last few minutes. Villain was more of a d-bag than anything, so it just didn't flow for me all that well.

But overall, good cast, fun action, great graphics, loved the new suit-it was good! Let the original die! Lol...Or don't. No film reboot should be too similar to the original anyway!
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17 December 2014
My only distress is that it has ended. A story of epic proportions. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Stellar cast.


Beautiful score.

It's always been hard for me to determine which installment was my favorite because Jackson pieced these films together just like reading a novel. The consistency in storytelling, imagery, music, casting, graphics, choreography has produced a fluid and intricately tailored series. It was everything that I expected without having any idea what I was going to see. The opener alone was flipping fantastic! The number of hoops and grunts of pleasant shock and awe from me can't be counted. It's just such an awesome tale.

Last and final word: LEGOLAS!!
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Heatstroke (2013)
The Cover Is A Lie - No Stephen Dorff Hero
16 December 2014
I've never seen as blatant a lie as this in filmmaking. I can only imagine that the producers knew they could not legitimately advertise this movie on its on merit, so they actually took to staging a poster image that had nothing to do with the actual film.

IMDb, however, was more than honest in the plot summary. This is where our trusts must remain.

This is no spoiler because I'm telling you what's NOT in this film and what's not in this film is Stephen Dorff with a gun defending his girlfriend and daughter. Ever! This actually NEVER happens. Stephen Dorff's character doesn't even SEE a gun, let alone, hold one.

I'm actually baffled and appalled. Stephen Dorff, very poorly I might add, played the role of a dead-beat dad with the parenting skills of a dead tick.

This was NOT a Stephen Dorff film. It LITERALLY had nothing to do with Stephen Dorff. This was a Svetlana Metkina and Maisie Williams film. And who the heck are they?? No one good. Let me tell you, I tried to give them the benefit of not doubting unknown faces. But, the best either of these two girls had for them was their ability to shed tears. Other than that, the most flat and ill-fitted actors to be cast in an attempted thriller like this were in this movie.

AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THIS SCRIPT!! HA!! MY GOD IN HEAVEN! It's actually cringe-inducing. Seriously, you will cringe at how lame the dialogue is in this film. The actors, some of whom are reputable actors, couldn't even deliver these lines organically.

Just don't pay for it!! For the love of all that is sacred in this life, just don't spend your money.
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Snowpiercer (2013)
Pointless bummer...
28 July 2014
Movies like this make me mad. Not as much because the movie was bad (and bad it was) but because of the impeccable ratings the movie received. When I looked this movie up, it had received 94% from Rotten Tomatoes. NINETY FOUR PERCENT!! What a load of bologna!!! You see a 94% rating that should mean that the movie will AT LEAST be good. At best, it will just be good. This crap was so unentertaining, shooting myself in the foot would have made for a better night. Watching a bunch of people fail miserably for TWO HOURS AND SIX MINUTES is not my idea of a good time. And since there was nothing intellectual about the film, I have no other positives to draw on. The good guys and the bad guys were all miserable failures. By the end of it I actually didn't care what happened to any of them. I certainly did not feel the triumph these filmmakers tried to invoke in the end. My Lord! These people are paid tons and tons and they can't do any better than this! Good grief!! Chris Evans is great, he did his job, as did the other quality actors in the cast, but they could not save this film. Yea yea yea, if the world ends the people left will make all the worst, dark, and twisted choices imaginable. I've seen that story before and I've seen it done waaaaaayy better. Bad story, bad execution, just bad bad bad...
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Godzilla (2014)
Good 'n' Terrible
21 May 2014
This film involved a bunch of stories about characters that added nothing but boredom to a film that didn't need all that. Bryan Cranston's character seemed to be developing into the brains behind mankind's ability to survive the unthinkable. That disappointingly fizzled into nothingness. The ONE thing he discovered was not something the scientific minds that had been studying the situation for umpteen years could figure out on their own???! What?? Ken Watanabe spent the entire film looking bewildered, shocked, and/or confused. His assistant was even more useless. Then our leading man, the hero...I'm still trying to figure out what he did and what made him worth following around for near two hours. In a Godzilla movie, I mean. He did ONE really cool, smart thing...that had no effect on the overall monster problem. The rest of the time he was just as confused and helpless as everyone else. He was an upstanding serviceman and I would never count a real man of that stature any less than a hero. But in a Godzilla movie what about him made him worth filming more than any of the other military officers fighting to save humanity?? I got sick of watching Godzilla swim! After the first TWO times-dope as it was, they overdid that mess. They didn't even properly insert Godzilla into the story. They talked about him and then he just showed up swimming. We didn't get to the fun until the very end. And the stuff leading up to it was not worth while. NO COMIC RELIEF!! NONE! It was so dry, I started to get cottonmouth! I actually remember a moment in my mind thinking, "my goodness, I'm bored. Am I...surely there must be something wrong with me. Am I in a bad mood? It can't be the movie's fault. Surely not." But alas, it was. I had little expectations, but I expected to enjoy myself in some kind of way. This script was so unoriginal and lacking I started fantasizing much better lines and performances characters could have delivered in real time. It's as if they copy and pasted a few Hollywood clichés because they needed to kill time so that they could get away with spending all their resources and efforts on graphics. That might explain the lengthy list of virtually unrecognizable cast members. They even killed of one of their top billers 20 minutes in. Cheaper cast makes way for more expensive graphics I guess. They put no thought at all into this billion dollar prank, while somehow over-thinking it. The story about the monster issue was all they needed and that would have probably produced a better film!!

The good about this film: There was little to no profanity. I can't even recall if there was any. There was no sexual content. Like...none. I was extremely impressed. There was a short moment shared between a husband and wife and, where Hollywood has conditioned me to expect it, the over-indulged sexuality did not follow. Lastly, the graphics were excellent.

All the same, I've never watched a movie with so many anticlimactic sub-stories. It really had some great moments visually, a couple action-oriented sequences were great. But man...oh man...somehow they managed to bore me. And I don't bore easily. They should get some kind of awards for that...boring me in a Godzilla film with Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe takes some actual skill, I think.
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Dredd (2012)
Good and terrible...
3 September 2013
Simply awful. Twisted imagery of violence, sex, & other vices. Lackluster. Ridiculous. Audacious. Uninteresting. No comic relief. No likable characters. No one to care about. When the heroes were in danger or even being hurt, couldn't care less. No enjoyable or crafty action sequences. Senseless shootings & killings of EVERYONE. Everyone is a criminal accept like three people. Video game gore. It was just incredibly dumb and poorly executed. They spent more time on the graphics when people were 'trippin' than anything else. There was no attempts at acting from Karl Urban who was by far the most talented person in the cast. It was obvious he was directed to perform as he did. The costume design was surprisingly lame. The whole thing...Lame...
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Erased (2012)
If you can stomach the daughter...
13 August 2013 and enjoy! Sadly, I could not overlook her. Without the daughter, I would have been able to finish this film and most likely say I enjoyed it. She was the first and last straw that broke everything. I tried to hold on, I really did. But her character was just too entirely inconsistent, ridiculous, and therefore annoying. She sapped all joy out of watching Eckhart, who is great and was great in this film. Product of some seriously lazy writing. It almost felt like maybe she was an after-thought...or maybe the character didn't turn out the way they intended and they lost control. She was too bratty. I mean, she was actually unbelievably bratty. No, like literally, it was beyond my capability to suspend belief. She just wasn't real. Yes, they did take some clichéd scenarios we've seen before in the once estranged now newly reunited daughter/father relationship. But, honestly, that's not what killed it. What killed this movie was the absurdist approach to the rebellious teenage daughter. In one instance they're fighting and a split-second later she's beckoning for a show of affection. Dad saves her life and she's mad at him because he saved her life and by all accounts he shouldn't be able to do that. OF COURSE, if I thought my father had been a normal every day working class citizen and I saw him whip out some special agent moves, I would want answers. I WAS once a teenager. I have not forgotten what that was like. If this experience had happened, certainly, I would be confused, frightened, and possibly a little upset, but I wouldn't be so angry, I'd do things like snatch away from my father's grip and yell at him, spewing contempt because he's doing heroic things he shouldn't be able to do...especially when his heroics are done on my behalf.

The actress overplayed the role. She was in moments too grown and subsequently too young in others. There were moments she was completely clueless and asking tons of questions, whereas in others she was suddenly a skilled investigator and taking the lead in ways I would NEVER EVER believe a normal teenage child would begin to know how. I think Ms Liberato is a good actress, I just think with poor writing and poor directing she as well as her character never had a chance for success here.

She was just too unbearable. To have a skilled ex-CIA agent who is completely unable to put his foot down and tell his daughter to 'sit down, shut up, and do what I say!', surpassed what felt like a slap in the face. And the little to non-existing chemistry between her and Eckhart left us with nothing to save this film.

It was an excellent concept, and well made (cinematically). I was hooked from the very first second and dying to know what this mess was all about, but I couldn't take the daughter anymore, who, at every turn, proved herself more and more unimportant to the story. This story really and truly could have survived without the character all together and would have been great!
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RoboCop (1987)
Bad then, bad now
7 January 2011
I will admit I would have probably given this film a couple more stars back in the day. It was popular because it was different. A new, somewhat original concept is always embraced excitedly. But our attention to detail and critical eyes have evolved since the eighties. There's no chance this movie could survive with such high ratings if it had been a new release in this generation of film. Even if it'd been lavishly souped with our great special effects of the day. The utter absurdity that was the violence in this film is laughable. People shot so heavily and so continuously and still they live? Even if they die, they die so dramatically it's ridiculous. I finally had to completely suspend all belief to finish this film, and simply embrace it's whole-hearted science-fictional ways. 'Okay, so this is a world where people don't die like real people do. Cool. There are robots running around. I can handle it.'

Still, after making such an adjustment, it failed, sadly, to make the movie good. They spent all their time developing the effects and less time with the story and characters. That's not to say they did NO work. I liked the female lead. She was cool. But there wasn't enough of her. Robo was cool, too. But I could have used a little more of developing the male lead and a little less of the pointless time spent developing the robot. The rest of this fantasy world was just hopped up on a whole lot of crazy and I couldn't care one hill of beans about how it turned out. I knew how it was going to end, but the process of getting me there left me seriously wanting.

I gave it three stars because I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my surly 'That '70s Show' father, Kurtwood Smith, playing a bad guy.
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Poor choice...
5 December 2010
It was a poor choice among many to even entertain this sequel. If you were anything like me when this film released, a die-hard fan of the original, sure, you had some expectations, but you went in open-mindedly expecting something grand. Same director, Sandra Bullock? They must have figured out how to make this good without Keanu.

But you were young then and this was your first lesson about the cautions one must take where sequels are concerned. Some stories just need to be left told. When they chose to replace the star character with another (played by an actor who was unintentionally and so incredibly upstaged by Sandra Bullock); when they replaced a speeding bus with a BOAT, completely undermining the whole concept, further adding insult to the title's singled-worded zinger...suspicions should have been raised. Maybe then this sadly disappointing flop wouldn't have stung so much.

Fortunately, after the hurt subsided, you realized the movie was so incredibly estranged from the original in almost every possible way, that you'd subconsciously come to regard it as it's own entirely separate film. And you've moved on happily regarding 'Speed' as ONE of the greatest action flicks of its time. And that other film with a similar title is completely forgotten save for the part about you having seen it once.

But I say, if you haven't seen it already, save yourself the emotional steps it will take to find happiness again and just give the first one another watch. I find I enjoy it every time.
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Skyline (2010)
A absolute travesty...
13 November 2010
Many of the reviewers before have almost taken the words right out of my mouth. But, I still needed to contribute my two cents so that people don't question the validity of the negative reviews.

1. If you don't like ripoffs, you won't like this. (If you take Face/Off, Predators, Independence Day, Cloverfield, District 9, throw them in a stew, cook it too long, burn it, scorch it, and you will have created this movie.)

2. If you don't enjoy dialogue that is anything but original, campy, and quite frankly boring, you will not like this.

3. If you do not like watching action movies with a scarce number of scenes that actually include action, you won't enjoy this film. (Okay, in fairness there was quite a bit of action, some of it over the top, but it paled in comparison to the amount of time you'll spend waiting for something to happen or tortured by the slow moving, uninteresting dramatic scenes.)

4. If you do not enjoy bad acting-like overacting to make up for a crappy script-not gonna like it. (Consider watching Chuck Norris, Steven Segal, and Van Damme left with no fighting and only their "acting skills".)

5. If you don't enjoy watching badly developed characters that you can't like if you tried drawn to be your heroes and the ones you're supposed to root for-don't do it!

6. A story wrapped around a group of people constantly set up to seem like they're going to do something exceptional, but never actually do drive you nuts? Prepare to pull hairs.

The makings of a great film, tragically falls short. If this was on Vimeo, it'd be cool and commended for its brilliant camera work and effects; the poor acting and unheard of actors wouldn't even be mentioned or taken into consideration. But when convincing people to spend 8-14 dollars on such a devastatingly terrible piece of work, this movie is a down right injustice.

Don't pay to see this. Seriously, if the curiosity kills you, at least wait until you can get it free on Netflix or something. I assure you, you will be unhappy you wasted your money. I've seen movies I didn't like, but was at peace with my expense. This was not the case here.

This deserves 3 stars only because the effects really were quite fantastic, though in some ways blatantly stolen from ID4 and Cloverfield. Sad because it had awesome potential.
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