Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Shutter Island

U.S. Marshal Edward Daniels investigates a missing person case at a mental hospital.  However, as he digs deeper, he becomes convinced that something unsavory is happening at the hospital;  he begins to think that patients are being experimented on, and later that experiments are being done on him as well.

This is a good psychological horror thriller, but like some films of this genre, it is full of disturbing images.  This is where I have a problem with the movie, because I find this aspect of the film bothersome.  Many people would find this entertaining in a nightmarish horror picture kind of way, but I simply wasn't in the mood for it.  The movie made me gloomy.

The closest film to this one that I can think of is Jacob's Ladder, which is an even more disturbing film that I actually liked.  It also reminds me of the 2005 psychological thriller Stay, which I found so depressing that upon getting out of the theater I immediately bought a ticket to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit just so that I could watch something more uplifting.

The disturbing aspects of this film are necessary, otherwise the surprise ending wouldn't make as much sense or have as much impact.  However, the ending seemed a little contrived to me, and it is not very different from the endings of Stay and Jacob's Ladder.  I could tell you how these endings are similar, but that would give away the surprise.

Shutter Island is an extremely well made film that is entertaining, so despite my reservations, I am giving it three stars.

Rating:  * * *

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Age of Adaline


I have not yet done a review of Spider-Man 3 from 2007, but that movie was pretty good for the first 90 minutes, and then terrible for the last 25 minutes.  The Age of Adaline almost follows the same pattern, but not quite.  The last 25 minutes teeters along a cliff edge where it threatens to fall into a pit of terribleness without actually doing so.  The problem with the last act is that it feels awkward.

The story is that a freak accident stops Adaline from aging.  After a 107 years, Adaline is afraid to get close to anyone, but she falls for a handsome young man named Ellis Jones.  However, things get complicated when her past catches up with her.

There are some interesting performances from Harrison FordEllen Burstyn (who is looking quite old.  She was youthful and terrific in the 1980 film Resurrection), and Anthony Ingruber.  Ingruber convincingly plays a younger version of the Harrison Ford character, and this is has lead to an internet campaign to have him play Han Solo in an upcoming Han Solo movie.  He has also done some impressions of Han Solo on Youtube.

Overall the movie seems pretty entertaining.  Rating:  * * *

The Age of Adaline has a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Signal


If science fiction movies had hearts, then the heart of every science fiction movie would yearn to be Star Wars.  What makes Star Wars great is that takes us to another world full of wonderful things.  The trouble with low budget science fiction movies is that there may be something wonderful in the movie, but it might occur briefly at the end of the film after the audience has endured a really long build up.  This is the problem with "The Signal".

For example, the first 15 minutes of the movie is about three MIT students crossing the country.  There is a story here about relationships, but more importantly, someone is hacking into their laptops.  The students trace "the signal" to someplace in Nevada, so they are determined to go there and investigate.  When they get there, they find a creepy shack in the middle of the desert.  Then, jarringly, at least one of them appears to be abducted by aliens from another world.  Then our heroes wake up in an underground hospital/bunker where people are asking them questions and doing experiments on them.

Where the movie succeeds is that it creates a level of suspense of not knowing what is going to happen next.  The characters don't know what is happening to them, and we don't know anything more than the characters do.  What we sense is that this is leading to something; we only hope that it is something good.  So I like the movie for the suspense that it creates.  (In this respect, the movie is a clever exercise in low budget filmmaking.)

There is also much misdirection, since the whole film seems designed to conceal the ending from us so as to keep it a surprise.  However, for me this made the ending a little less logical.  When we do get the pay off at the end, the final scene goes by so quickly that I had to watch it again to understand it, and even then I had to do an internet search to confirm that I understood what I saw.  Had I seen this in the movie theater, as opposed to video, I might have been confused and disappointed.

Movies like this end with something wonderful, which is where movies like Star Wars start.  It would be nice to see where the ending takes us, but no, the movie just ends.

So that is the problem with low budget science fiction movies.  I think that this one is well worth watching because it really does create an interesting and suspenseful story.

Rating:  * * *

The Signal has only a 59% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Constantine vs. End of Days vs. Legion

Imagine a science fiction movie where alien beings were invading our universe from another dimension.  The aliens look human and only a few rare talented human beings can see the aliens for what they are, like in They Live.  A few of the more powerful aliens enter our universe inside the body of a human being and try to tear their way out of the body, like in Aliens.  The protagonist specializes in either killing the aliens with much violence, or using special high tech equipment to send the aliens back to their original dimension.

Constantine is not a science fiction movie, but the details are essentially the same.  In my description above, change every occurrence of the word "aliens" to the word "demons" and this is what the movie is about.  It is really a religious fantasy/horror film, but to me it is more like a science fiction movie enveloped in a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo.  Constantine has a rich and complex mythology, but this probably doesn't match anything you learned in Sunday School.

And this is the problem why I think that the movie only has a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  This an interesting and exciting film, but there are going to be many people who simply don't get it, or aren't interested in this genre.   Roger Ebert called it one of his most hated films.

The acting by Keanu Reeves at times is little wooden, but I like many of the supporting actors.

End of Days has the same problem.  The movie could be summed up as "Arnold Schwarzenegger versus the Devil before Y2K."  The plot is a little sillier, where the Devil needs to mate with the "chosen" female one hour before the end of the millennium to create the anti-christ.  Had I seen the movie in the theater I would have considered it just a borderline good movie, but it makes a good $1 movie rental.  It has only an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

These films require a certain amount of suspension of disbelief.  To enjoy these movies you have to accept the rules of the universe that these characters live in.  They are best enjoyed with a bowl of popcorn and an open mind.


Charlie: "When I was a little girl, my mother would remind me each night before bed, to open up my heart to God, for He was kind, merciful, and just. Things changed when my father left a few years later, leaving her to raise me and my brothers in a place on the edge of the Mojave Desert. She never talked of a kind and merciful God again. Instead she spoke of a prophecy. Of a time when all the world would be covered in darkness and the fate of mankind would be decided. One night, I finally got the courage to ask my mother why God had changed, why He was so mad at His children. 'I don't know,' she said, tucking the covers around me, 'I guess He just got tired of all the bullshit.'"

Legion is not your typical horror movie.  God sends an army of angels to wipe out mankind.  One archangel, Michael, rebels and tries to save mankind.  The story goes that if one special child, a savior figure, can be saved, then so can humanity.  The showdown to save or destroy mankind takes place at a run down "gas and eat" on the edge of the Mojave desert.

Michael (The Archangel): "The last time God lost faith in Man, He sent a flood. This time, He sent what you see outside."
Percy Walker: "Are you saying this is the apocalypse?"
Michael (The Archangel): "I'm saying this is an extermination."

I love the performances by Paul Bettany as Michael, Kevin Durand as Gabriel, Dennis Quaid, Charles Dutton, Tyrese Gibson, and Lucas Black.  The movie is also full of great quotes:  

Percy Walker: "When I was a kid, my father would sit by my bed every night before I went to sleep.  And he's say to me, 'Percy, if you don't wake up tomorrow, if it turns out that today is your last day on earth.  Will you be proud of what you've done in this life?  Because if you ain't, you better start getting square.'"

Bob Hanson: "You know this is crazy, right? I mean... I don't even believe in God."
Michael (The Archangel): "Well, that's just fine, Bob. He doesn't believe in you either."

Michael (The Archangel):  "When God chose your kind as the object of His love, I was the first in all of heaven to bow down before you. My love, my hope for mankind was no less than His. But I have watched you trample that gift. I have watched you kill each other over race and greed... waging war over dust and rubble and the words in old books. And yet, in the midst of all this darkness, I see some people who will not be bowed. I see some people who will not give up, even when they know all hope is lost. Some people, who realize being lost is so close to being found. I see you, Jeep. Fifteen years old, your mother leaves. Your father withdraws from the world and you spend the next five years of your young life helping him find his way home. You love a woman who bears the child of another and you love her with no thought of yourself, even though you know she may never love you the way you love her. You, Jeep... you are the reason I still have faith."

Gabriel (The Archangel): "This is not your test, Michael. How dare you presume to know His heart?"
Michael (The Archangel): [putting a hand to his chest] "Because He made this one. And it tells me He shouldn't lose faith now."

Gabriel (The Archangel):  "I would not have shown you such mercy."
Michael (The Archangel): "I know. That's why you failed Him."

When I compare Legion to another apocalyptic horror film, The Mist, I think that Legion is a hundred times better.  Both movies belong to a genre of movies called Siege Films, where a group of people are inside a house or a building trying to defend themselves from something evil outside.  This may have started with westerns, but one of the most famous examples is Night of the Living Dead.  Another famous example is Assault on Precinct 13.

Legion's showdown in an old gas station/restaurant also reminded me of an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer called "Spiral".

I think that the film has shades of Terminator, with the end of the world theme and the way the archangel Michael arrived on earth reminded me of how Kyle Reese arrived in 1984.

Why it is only 19% or Rotten Tomatoes I can't understand.

The movie has inspired a new TV series which I like.

Ratings:
End of Days * * *
Constantine:  * * * 1/4
Legion:         * * * 1/2

          

Friday, August 28, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: What I know so far.

This is a combination of analysis of the trailers, leaks, rumors, and speculation found on the internet.

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Since The Battle of Endor, what remains of the Empire and the Rebels have fought a war for 30 years.  The First Order controls at least a portion of the former Empire and is headed by Supreme Leader Snoke, played by Andy Serkis.  He is the one who says in the trailer,  "There has been an awakening.  Have you felt it?"   There may be other factions of the original empire besides The First Order.

The movie title refers to the Force becoming more powerful.   It has been said that Luke Skywalker has become too powerful and too dangerous with the force, and has gone into seclusion.  He might be protecting some Sith artifact or temple because he does not want the Sith to get to it.  We know that R2-D2 is with him.

An unknown queen, most likely Leia Organa, gives Poe Dameron a special mission.  The speculation is that it is to find her missing brother, Luke Skywalker.

Early in The Force Awakens, hot shot rebel pilot Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, is a prisoner on an Empire ship.  He escapes, possibly in a Tie Fighter.  He shoots up a docking bay.  Storm trooper Finn, played by John Boyega, is seen on a ship fearful for his life or at least very stressed.  At one point Finn may participate in an attack on a forest world, possibly Endor, because we know that Warrick Davis is going to be in the movie, which lead to speculation that he would be reprising his role as the Ewok Wickett Warrick.

Finn deserts the Empire and crash lands a tie fighter on the desert planet of Jakku.  Perhaps it was Finn who shot up the docking bay on the Empire ship.  On Jakku there is a scavenger hunter, Rey, played by Daisy Ridly.  She salvages from space ships that have crashed on Jakku from The Battle of Jakku.  Finn and Rey team up, along with her droid BB-8 and get chased by the Empire.

Finn and Poe Dameron might be force sensitive. 

Somehow Luke's original lightsaber is found.  This is the one that he lost when his hand was cut off in The Empire Strikes Back.  Maybe Rey finds it because she is seen holding it, but Finn is seen using it.  Together they might go on a quest to return it to its owner.  It has been said that the movie ends with them finding Luke Skywalker and handing the lightsaber to him.

We have seen C3PO with a red replacement arm.

Finn and Rey board the Millennium Falcon and pilot it.  Han Solo and Chewbacca also end up on the ship with them, possibly because Finn and Rey stole the ship.   

The main bad guys are Snoke, Captain Phasma, and Kelo Ren.   

Kelo Ren is a member of the Knights of Ren, and sees himself as a hero figure.  It has been said that he finds the mask of Darth Vader, becomes obsessed with Vader, and constructs a mask for himself.  Kelo Ren is seen with a special light saber with a cross guard.  We know that Kelo Ren is not his original name.

There has been much rumor and speculation that one or two of the following are the offspring of Han and Leia:  Rey, Poe Dameron, and Kelo Ren.  We know that Han Solo confronts Kelo Ren and is possibly killed.  Afterwards Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian are seen piloting the Millennium Falcon.

The last names of Finn and Rey have been kept a secret, because it has been strongly implied that they are related to other Star Wars characters. 

Captain Phasma appears to be a chrome plated storm trooper, and is played by Gwendoline Christie.  She may be a bounty hunter.

Numerous characters, creatures and droids from the original trilogy appear in this movie, including Admiral Ackbar, and Nien Nunb.

Max Von Sydow has some unknown role in the movie.

Domhnall Gleeson plays General Hux who commands a "Star Killer Base."  Rumor has it that this is a weapon that can destroy an entire solar system.

It has been rumored that we would see an Inquisitor, and this seems likely because of the emphasis on Inquisitors in Star Wars Rebels.  Some have wondered if this would be Kelo Ren.

There has been speculation that Luke Skywalker has restarted the Jedi Order and we might see Jedi in training.  There also has been much speculation about the movie having "force ghosts" of previous Star Wars characters, including Anakin Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Maggie

Once the Necroambulist virus infects someone, their body slowly deteriorates.  After maybe a dozen weeks they lose any sense of self and want to bite other people.  Thus the virus spreads and by spreading has nearly destroyed civilization.  The government tries to contain the spread by forcing infected people into quarantine.  Quarantine is essentially a death camp for infected people who are going to die anyway.  There is no cure and no hope.

This is the impossible choice faced by Wade Vogel when his daughter Maggie becomes infected.  He is told that after 8 weeks he will have to turn his daughter over to quarantine.  He promised his deceased wife that he would protect Maggie, so he doesn't want to let the government take her.  He also knows that he is running out of time.  He tries to enjoy what little time he has remaining with his daughter, but hanging over his head is the rapidly approaching moment when he will not be able to do that anymore.  He will have to make a choice, but he doesn't know what choice to make.

Thus the film creates a subdued suspense that makes the movie a gem.  Arnold Schwarzenegger is wonderful here, and Abigail Breslin has been fantastic in everything she has ever played in.  The film is also full of good performances by the supporting actors.  Every character is desperately trying to cope in nearly impossible circumstances.

The situation faced by the characters is not much different than having to deal with alzheimer's or terminal cancer.

It is easy to believe in a worldwide epidemic when you  consider that the Spanish Flu killed 50 million people.

Some people might find the movie too slow, but I thought it was perfect.  The 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes tells me that the film is underappreciated. 

Rating:  * * * .5

Friday, August 14, 2015

Insurgent

Insurgent is the sequel to Divergent, both of which I enjoyed.  I think that both films are better than what you might expect considering that they both have weak reviews.  The second film starts slow and is a little predictable, but I feel that the last act redeems it. 

Both movies take place in a post apocalyptic future where what is left of humanity lives in a walled off Chicago.  Their society operates on a kind of caste system, where each person must choose at a young age which caste to live in. The five castes are Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intellectual).  Beatrice Prior, or "Tris", is born into Abnegation, but chooses to live in Dauntless.  In Dauntless she is severely tested but slowly rises to the challenge.

Tris carries a secret, which is that she is "divergent", which means that she can fit into more than one caste.  The government doesn't like this and apparently considers divergents to be uncontrollable and dangerous. Ultimately, Tris must fight against corrupt forces in the government.

Ratings:  

Divergent:  * * *.5
Insurgent:   * * * 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Inherent Vice


In 1970, dope head private investigator Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) gets a visit from his ex girlfriend.  She tells him about her new lover, Wolfman (Eric Roberts), a wealthy real estate developer.  She hires Doc to prevent Wolfman from being committed to an insane asylum.  Doc takes on two other cases, and all the cases end up being tied to "The Golden Fang", which is a powerful heroin smuggling ring.  Meanwhile, Doc gets harrassed frequently by "Bigfoot" Bjorsen (Josh Brolin) of the LAPD, a less than honorable cop who is trying to pump Doc for information.

Since most of the characters use drugs, only about half of them seem to make sense most of the time.  The same can be said about the convoluted story, which requires much patience.  I enjoyed the story, although parts of it are slow and other parts are hard to understand.  The film is not meant to be totally understood, but creates an interesting atmosphere around strange circumstances.  As a result, it is the kind of film that I would expect to be directed by Quentin Tarantino or the Cohen brothers.  Instead the movie is directed by Paul Anderson who directed The Master, another very strange movie also starring JoaquĆ­n Phoenix.

The term "Inherent Vice" refers to property that cannot be insured because it is likely to decay.

The movie is rated R for frequent profanity, frequent drug use, and nudity.

The film tried my patience a little, but it is worth watching:  Rating * * * 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted


Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is the highest rated of the three Madagascar films, but by far my least favorite.  Whereas the first two movies were fairly enjoyable, the third installment is weak on character development and plot.  Instead, it is child level cartoon with over the top action sequences and out of place annoying musical numbers.  The movie tries to give us a couple of emotional moments involving a circus tiger, but these don't work particularly well.

It is a pity, because I like these characters.

It also ranks for me way below Penguins of Madagascar, which is enjoyable just as a cartoon.

A great deal of money gets spent on full length feature animated films.  The ones from Pixar have been mostly fantastic.  Pixar knows how to give us good stories that resonate emotionally.  Dreamworks Animation can't seem to rise to the same level.  Pixar is kicking Dreamworks butt.

Madagascar 3 cost $154 million to make and made $747 million at the box office.

Rating:  * *

Some might say that this is O.K. for children, but I say children deserve better.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road versus Jurassic World versus The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Mad Max:  Fury Road is a good summer action film that really adds nothing to the genre that we haven't seen before.  Tom Hardy is not as appealing, or as manly, as Mel Gibson in the role of Max.  In fact, he is upstaged by Charlize Theron who seems to have more cojones than he does.

About 15 minutes before the end I had to get out of my front row seat and move back a bit.  That is because all the car chases and loud explosions were starting to grate on my nervous system.

I find myself wondering why we need so many movie remakes that are no better and often worse than the originals?  Still, I enjoyed the movie enough to recommend it.  

Rating:  * * *


When I saw the trailers for Jurassic World, I asked "Haven't we seen this movie before?"  Yes, three times before, but as far as I can tell the Jurassic movies have gotten better with each incarnation.  I wasn't happy with the original Jurassic Park, or its sequel, but liked this film and its predecessor.

Here the characters and story are better developed.  There is enough new material to make it a pretty slick movie.  

Rating * * * 1/2


The Avengers: Age of Ultron is better than the much loved The Avengers in every respect.  The previous film suffered from too many squabbles between the characters and a last 30 minutes that was overkill on action and special effects.  The new movie has better developed characters and a much more interesting villain.

I think that it is tied with Jurassic World for good summer blockbuster entertainment.  Rating:  * * * 1/2.   

Kill Bill Volume I

I will watch any movie that is praised by critics.  However, Kill Bill Volume I is a good revenge story that is seriously marred by the movie's many excesses.  Which excesses do I mean?   Crudeness.  Constant violence.  Graphic blood spurting violence.  The protagonist fighting off 35 sword wielding Japanese mobsters and not one of them thinks to use a gun.

It does not speak well for our society that we find this entertaining.  The movie has no sense or morality or the value of human life.  It reduces my desire to see other Quentin Tarantino movies, because he only has one mode of filmmaking, which is to make bloody and excessively violent movies.

The film is meant to be an American version of Asian martial arts pictures.  It switches between many different movie techniques, including animation, to make its story seem artsy.  Its various techniques seem gimmicky to me.

If there is one bright spot, it is David Carradine as the little seen but often heard offscreen villain.

Rating * * 1/2

The movie is not complete without seeing the sequel, so I am just curious enough to watch that as well.

Terminator Genisys

Terminator Genisys is a reboot of the terminator franchise.  Since the terminator universe revolves around people and robots traveling from the future to the present, it is always possible that a time traveler would completely change the story that we have already seen.  Almost.  The movie recycles many familiar elements.  If it wasn't for a few interesting plot twists, one of which I didn't care for, the movie would seem completely redundant.

Matt Smith has a cameo as a personified Skynet.  There is a touch of irony in putting the Doctor Who actor in a movie about time travel.

Overall, it is a decent summer action movie.  It does not rise to the level of Terminator II, which is by far the best of the series, and I am not sure if it even rises to the level of Terminator I.  It is more like Terminator III, which is full of action sequences, but is otherwise mostly forgettable.   The action sequences make the movie feel slightly too long.  

One thing the movie lacks is the intensity that Linda Hamilton brought to the role of Sarah Conner.  It is the actors who really make the movie, and here Arnold Schwarzenegger is great.  However, all the other actors seem lukewarm.

With a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I felt like I was taking a chance on this movie, but I really liked Terminator Salvation (Terminator 4), and it only had a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is suppose to be the first of a new trilogy, although the movie seems to stand alone and I did not see any hint of a follow up.  I missed the post credits scene that lets us know that Skynet survives.  Maybe we will see more of Matt Smith.  I hope so, since he would make a great villain.

This is the first Terminator movie without any nudity, although there are hints of nudity hidden by shadow and special effects.  Since people always had to travel through time naked in the Terminator universe, it seems to me like an integral part of the story.

Rating: * * *

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Inside Out


An 11 year old girl named Riley is forced to relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco, and as a result goes through great emotional turmoil.  Her emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger are manifested as little people inside her brain.  They control Riley through a device known as the control console in the control room.  Joy and Sadness accidently get lost in a different part of Riley's brain, at which point Riley's life starts to deteriorate because Fear, Disgust and Anger are now running her brain.  Joy and Sadness go through a long adventure to get back to the control room so that they can save Riley.

Inside Out is a beautiful and sweet movie that is brilliantly conceived.  It tugs at your heart strings.  As much as I like this movie, it seems to me to fall short of greatness.  The movie began to lose me toward the end.  It is not the best Pixar movie by any means, but it is not the worst either.

Rating:  * * * .5   Inside Out deserves much credit for being original.  If it wasn't for all the other better Pixar movies, I probably would have given the film  * * * *.

Inside Out has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie is preceded by the amazing short "Lava". (Listen to the song here.)  I could watch this several times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Penguins of Madagascar

I feel the same way about Penguins of Madagascar that I do about any really well made classic Warner Brothers Cartoon; it is fun to watch, even more than once, but it just a cartoon.  It has some silliness about it, but is also insightfully clever.

If you like the penguins from the Madagascar movies, and most of us did, then you will definitely like this movie.

Rating:  * * *



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wayne Pygram

Wayne Pigram wore a mask to resemble Peter Cushing to play a cameo of a younger Grand Moff Tarkin in Revenge of the Sith.  The same actor has appeared in LOST as a faith healer, and in Farscape where he was quite terrific as Scorpius.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Miller's Crossing

Miller's Crossing is a well acted and well made gangster story done in a film noir style reminiscent of movies movies made in the 1930's and 1940's.  This is where I have a problem with the film.  The characters seem more like stereotypes from old movies, and there is so much style, snappy dialog, and unrealistic situations that the movie never feels real to me.  It is hard to take it seriously.  However, as an exercise in movie making, it is a modern day version of old gangster films and is pretty entertaining on that level.

There is some debate on the internet about whether this movie is a great film or a dud.  I think that this depends upon your expectations.

Rating:  * * * .5

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones



There seems to be a surplus of teen friendly movies based on books.

If you combined Twilight, Harry Potter, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a teen friendly Twilight-want-to-be film, you would end up with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.  Do I need to say any more?  I found the film interesting because I like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but the movie and the characters don't feel exceptional in any way.  The film has enough to hold my attention, but it relies on action and fight scenes a little too much.  It lacks the really great characters that would make something like this wonderful.  The television show Buffy The Vampire Slayer had more interesting characters than this.

That isn't to say that there weren't some cool things in the show, but I would like to see a sequel that makes the characters more appealing. 

The most common criticism of the movie is that it feels recycled.  The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones garnered only 12% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, but I feel that the movie is not so terrible.   If you like shows like Twilight, Harry Potter, or Buffy The Vampire Slayer, then this is a three star film.  For everyone else I give it two and half stars.  If you hate these kinds of movies, and chances are there are many people who do, then skip it.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mr. 3000

The late Bernie Mac plays a selfish narcissistic ex baseball player, nicknamed Mr. 3000, who on the eve of his indoctrination into the Baseball Hall of Fame, is told that his record of 3,000 hits had been miscalculated, and that he only scored 2,997 hits.  With his reputation at risk, he reenters the game to try to score 3 more hits, which might be difficult because he has gotten too old and too out of shape to be a serious baseball player.

The problem with watching any movie where the main character is self centered, is that it is hard empathize with that character.  In a movie like this there needs to be some sort of redemption of that character, and fortunately there is.  

The story, honestly, feels barely adequate, but I like the way the movie ends so I am recommending it.

Rating: * * * 



Friday, January 9, 2015

Robin Williams Inside the Actors Studio Part 6

This is the best 9 minutes of the 90 minute Robin Williams interview I posted last year:

http://youtu.be/qGhfxKUH80M