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Terrible script
I was so surprised when I saw this was written by Paul Weitz. I just loved About a boy", but to be fair that was an adaptation. This film is full of talent burdened with dialogue that constantly falls flat and feels unnatural. Weitz's direction was not a lot better. Big disappointment. I am a man for the record.. This is a script that needs to have at least been well edited by a woman.

The Mauritanian

A much better film than the recent "The Report"
A lot of great talent make this a particularly riveting film. No punches are spared when it comes to how incompetent and inhumane Rumsfeld's policies were at Guantanamo. I criticized The Report for being too visceral in trying to make its point. This film had some very disturbing scenes as well but they were much more effective. You actually cared for the characters in the film. The Report and the Mauritanian make the same points, but where the Report was dry with little character development, The Mauritanian tells a fascinating personal tale.


This is not Death Wish 4
I think the negative reviewers expected something like that. The trailer may be to blame, but this is an excellent character study that reminds me of a Paul Schrader film like Light of Day or First Reformed. But an excellent Schrader film to be sure. Orlando Bloom's best role. Too bad not many people have seen this underrated gem.


Solid acting elevated this fine film
I know I have seen Juno Temple before, but really was not familiar with her. But she was so powerful in this film. Not sure if she is eligible this year or next but she deserves a best supporting actress nomination for this role. Timberlake and everyone else did a very nice job, but Temple had a couple scenes that simply blew me away.

Nice message. Almost wish it had been toned down a bit to allow younger viewers to learn from the film, but that would have diminished some of the film's power. Highly recommend.

Shadow in the Cloud

Amazed that the critics are giving this generally good reviews.
Let's start with the positive. It looks good visually. And maybe in the theater that helps even more than at home. I plunked down my 20 bucks to watch this as my first film of 2021 streaming on my very nice home screen. I am the kind of guy critics write for. I love Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I try to take in every Oscar favorite by the time of the awards shows. All I can say is I will remember 2020 as the year of the really slow film. This week I took in two Oscar favorites, First Cow and Never Rarely Sometimes Always. I rated them both a 7 but man did they drag on and on. So I needed some action, and this film had a couple good action scenes, it was never boring, but what a mess of a script and really horrible direction. I also find the soundtrack somewhat awful. The person who did the sound could learn from watching some Giorgio Moroder films if they want to use electronic music for suspense. The Moritz character will never win mother of the year for bringing her baby to a wartime aerial battle. What is up with that? And it just gets dumber from there. It really is a bad rip off of one the most famous Twilight Zone episodes. Bottom line, thank God it was only 89 minutes.


The best thing about Greenland
This is a decent film, but just nothing special. I think the most surprising thing for me was when it showed the decency of humans in the midst of disaster. I have become so disheartened by my fellow Americans over the last four years and particularly this year as thousands die daily, maybe I needed a reminder that we are good overall. You go into a film like this expecting to see a lot of crazy end of the world behavior, and it certainly has that, but less than one would expect. The problem is, the crazy stuff is what makes this kind of film exciting.

I really like Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin and they do a very good job with a so-so script.


Why all the season 2 hate?
I gave season 1 a 10. And downgraded the show to a 9 overall, but I still enjoyed season 2 quite a bit. I would give it a low 8. Season two kept me engrossed. The characters were not as great as the campground group of season 1, but there was still plenty of suspense. Undercover characters are often terrific in that good writing can make the viewer feel the stress of them trying to maintain their cover and this show does a great job with that. Looking forward to season 3.

The Lodge

Just knocked Midsommer of my list of top 3 most disturbing movies
I only gave it a 7 because it is a very very slow burn, but the third act is a 10 for sure. This is the kind of film you don't want to say too much about because there are so many spoilers, but after seeing both this film and Goodnight Mommy, I do hope that Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz never have children. There is a little twist at the end that you have to think about a bit that brings the whole story full circle and that is all I will say. Curious about the other two disturbing films.? They are "Dead Ringers" and "Requiem for a Dream".

The Report

The Report AKA Hostel 3: The documentary.
You have a lot of good elements in this film. Scott Burns track record as a writer is absolutely top notch. I am kind of meh with Adam Driver. He is not particularly weak, but he is far from a favorite of mine. The cast as a whole is solid though. I think where the film fails is the choices Burns makes as a director. There is a terrific amount of torture shown throughout the film. I think almost every one of those scenes should have been cut. Not all of them. They make a point. But the point is made after the first one. After a while they caused me to consider completing the film to be a chore as opposed to be a learning experience or an entertaining two hours. That being said it was darn interesting overall, and the torture did end after the first 45 minutes; but bottom line this true life espionage genre is one of my favorites and the Report is a sub par entry.


A review from a non Bong Joon-Ho fan.
I have seen every film he has made other than his first film. I liked them all but felt all of them were overrated other than Memories of Murder. I felt that second film of his was his best until Parasite . I loved every frame of this film. And such a creative plot. This is easily my favorite non American film in years. It is the kind of film that you see with a friend or your partner and want to discuss for hours. It is not a film I really want to discuss too much.The less you know the better. The purpose of this review is to tell people that have felt the same way about Bong Joon-Ho as I have in the past, that this time all the accolades are deserved. This is a true masterpiece that will be studied for years to come in film classes all over the world.

The Righteous Gemstones: But the Righteous Will See Their Fall
Episode 8, Season 1

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."
Mel Brooks.

I feel so guilty for laughing so hard at this episode. It is one of the funniest half hours of television that I have ever seen. The whole show has been good till now, but this episode was phenomenal.

Goliath: The Subsidence Adventure
Episode 1, Season 3

What in the world happened?
Take one of the best casts on TV, add a fascinating story, drop acid, and write a script. Seriously did someone decide that since Sherilyn Fenn , is in the script they needed to go all grade D David Lynch with the script? Three attacking crow scenes in the first two episodes. Three or four hallucinogenic scenes and several scenes where we have to figure out if they exist because the characters are high, or the scriptwriters were high. Confession I am two episodes in and I switched to Peaky Blinders. I was in entertainment heaven before this experience. In one day Peaky Blinders, Goliath , Joker are released. Next week El Camino, and the first reviews for the Irishman are out notching my anticipation to see that film which was already high, way up. I see people are liking the next few episode. I am gonna finish the darn thing I guess. But man, what a fricking mess so far. Any more rooms full of 200 Dennis Quaids doing Elvis impressions and I am outta here. (I have to admit I liked that scene though)


Much better than the critics are saying.
I gave Red Sparrow and Atomic blonde 7s and this an 8. And though all three leads are three of the most beautiful women in the world Sasha Luss is probably the sexiest of the three. She is also the least skilled actress of the three, but fairs by far the best in pulling off the brilliant action scenes choreographed and created by the talented Luc Besson. This is my second favorite film of his next to the Professional. I have never been into pure martial arts films but I love Asian thrillers like A Bittersweet Life, Oldboy, and The Man from Nowhere, that are known for their great fight scenes. The action scenes in this film reminded me of those films and also the terrifically successful John Wick series. . Along with the great action is a plot full of clever twists. Unfortunately Besson can only pull the whole story off with a lot of flashbacks and shifts in time that are slightly annoying to follow. Helen Mirren is fantastic as always and the rest of the cast is uniformly solid. Perfect summer popcorn movie. Why the studio spent about 12 cents in promoting it is beyond me other than the fact that Sasha Luss is no household name. I think it is a film that will be discovered more on cable, which is too bad because the action is best enjoyed on a big screen. Sexy, over the top, extremely violent. Anna is a solid B movie. It is almost certain to develop future Cult status that I hope will elevate the film's success so that Anna 2 is made. Highly recommended.

Northern Rescue

Really awful
I have to point out something that really bugs me. Of the 14 10 star reviews, 11 of the reviewers have never reviewed anything before this show, and the other other 3 have horrendous taste I guess.

Good Behavior: Letty Raines, in the Mansion, with the Gun
Episode 10, Season 2

This episode sure does not help with the effort to bring back this great show.
Worst episode in the series, BY FAR. Did not work on any level. Not sure what the writers were thinking on this one. It may have been the episode when one would say , "This is when Good Behavior jumped the shark" only we will probably never know. My bet is that Blake Crouch and the rest of the folks involved have a ton of great stories left in them for this show. HULU or Netflix need to realize how this show had such a large streaming audience after being buried on TNT for two years and order new episodes. Just don't watch this particular episode when deciding. RIP Good Behavior. Too bad you died with a whimper instead of a bang.

Cold Pursuit

Odd year so far at the movies for me.
This was my third film in the theaters this year. But my second American remake. I don't like when the haters come out and diss American remakes, but I am going to kind of do that here. I much preferred the original in this instance. But there are probably 2 major reasons for this. The director of this film also directed "In Order of Disappearance" , the source for this film. So using the same director did not give the film any original twists. It was almost identical to the first. Same shots, different actors. The second reason is that the new film is set in Denver, my hometown. But man is it a fictional Denver. So that may be unfair. Since I gave the original 8 stars, maybe going into this film with no expectations from having seen the first would have raised my rating. I love Liam Neeson, but Stellan Skarsgard is also an excellent actor and maybe played the role just a little better. By the way I also saw the Upside which was a remake of what I thought was a fairly mediocre French film, but I am in the minority there. I loved the Upside and feel that the American cast was far superior to the original.

Black Monday

What a train wreck
I cannot think of any Wall Street themed movie or show prior to this that I would not have given a huge thumbs up to. I actually could not finish the first episode. It was so over the top and not in the least bit funny. I think it is trying to set a Wolf of Wall Street sort of tone. It fails so miserably. I am a big fan of all the talent involved in this show, but this debacle is not something any of them should keep on their resume.


Maybe I was a victim of the hype.
This is getting Universally strong reviews and I was very psyched to see this due to many talented individuals attached to the project. I have never much liked Michelle Rodriguez,but am a great fan of everyone else from Steve McQueen right down to the little known Jackie Weaver from the great film Animal Kingdom. Unlike a lot of the reviewers I enjoyed the twists and the final act probably even more than the first 90 minutes, but if you come expecting a great action film you are likely to be disappointed. I did not come solely for the action. I enjoy art house cinema and mindless action films equally. This was a cerebral action film. I just found it a little slow, a little cliched and pretty run of the mill when you remove the shiny veneer of the A list talent involved.. Maybe my favorite takeaway from the film was discovering the incredibly sexy Elizabeth Debicki . One stunning tall drink of water. Not a bad film at all. Still gets a thumbs up, but cannot think of one deserving Oscar nod and the hype had me call this ultimately disappointing. Wait for the small screen is my advice.


What I don't get about Ozark
Season one came out and it had pretty terrific reviews. I watched it right away. I judt don't have enough TV time to watch a tenth of what I would like to. So I rely upon critics a lot with television more than movies. If enough critics pan a TV show I know I am gonna dislike it as well. So critics were not kind to season two. Many said the story was being stretched and so on. Well I am 6 episodes through season 2 cause a coworker told me don't believe the critics. I am certainly glad I gave this season a try. So far it is even better than season one. I don't understand the tepid reviews. This is the Breaking Bad of Money Laundering and it is so rich with great characters and subplots. One of television's best shows at the moment.


The best Rob Zombie movie ever made.
I am not at all a Rob Zombie fan, but I think if I were I would have given this film a ten. It has a very slow setup and the title character creeps me out beyond belief.Is she supposed to be sexy and beautiful, or it that a joke? I am just not sure. What I am sure about is Nic Cage's great second half performance. I found the look of the film with the constant colored filters quite annoying most of the time. If you want to make a low budget film look even more low budget shoot everything with read and yellow filters. Still I give the film an 8. Too many cool and unique elements to offset the many flaws of this truly odd film.

The Nun

Not the worst in the series. Annabelle holds that title .
But easily second worst. It is a very odd film. I felt like I watched 90 minutes of variations of one theme. You know how a lot of times comedy films get criticized and people say it would be a great sketch but it was a lousy film cause it was basically one joke? The Nun is kind of like that. It has a couple good scenes and it is non stop with the scares after a short set-up, but man it is basically the same scare done literally 40 or 50 times. There is only so much you can do with a scary Nun and 3 main characters. But again if you are going to see it, and I would not recommend it, see it in a theater. I am sure it plays a lot better than on a small screen.

A Prayer Before Dawn

The Haters are put off by the unique style of this film.
Yes, there is little dialogue in the film, and yes the film as long odd stretched of the narrative not really moving forward, but I found it fascinating and riveting. The filmmaker does a lot of interesting things. This does not quite flow like any film that I have ever seen. It is almost like snippets of Billy's memory being filmed where long portions are cut out and we go from a an odd confrontation in a group cell to a quick cut of being in the middle of the fourth round of a fight. A combination of one giant dream and a documentary style that may be unique but that I found truly enjoyable though very depressing. I see why people hated this, but if you like the works of filmmakers a little off the mainstream, give this a try. I kept being reminded or the great Alan Parker film Midnight Express due to subject matter, but stylistically the film reminds me of The Florida Project. This isn't Rocky by any means.


Solid, and well made but a little slow and unsatisfying as well.
Top notch acting and directing , and I probably would have given the film a 7, but I found the ending very unsatisfying. It was almost as if I wanted a second part to the story. I won't go further because I want this to be a spoiler free review. The ending felt rushed and the true consequences of the ending should have been explored a little more than a final one minute scene. I will say that I was deeply involved throughout the film, though it did have a couple times where it dragged a bit. I would ultimately recommend this film though, you won't be bored watching it.


Season 2
I enjoyed Season 2 almost as much as 1. Sure the bad guys this time were WAY over the top and yes there were some really gross scenes, but it is so great to watch Billy Bob do his thing. Unlike season 1 this season ended with a lot of loose ends so I am thinking season 3 is going to continue with the story so far. I, for one, cannot wait.


Surprised in particular by the critical response to this one.
Winchester has a 28 on Metacritic and I really don't get it. It is not a particularly scary film, though it does have a couple effective jolts. The cast is solid , the production is first rate and the story about the Winchester home and family is fascinating. I am sure that no small percentage of viewers will Google Sara Winchester and the Winchester home after watching this film. I was not bored for a second. I surely recommend it as a nice diversion.

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