kjnorman

IMDb member since March 2001
    Lifetime Total
    5+
    IMDb Member
    19 years

Reviews

Rim of the World
(2019)

Unbelievably bad
I could not make it through the first 15 minutes. I did not realize that they could make films this bad.

The characters are just awful. Full of stereotypes. As for the attempts of humor, it just wasn't funny. Just crude.

Chernobyl
(2019)

Horrifyingly scary
I was 15 when Chernobyl happened. I remember the panic on the TV at the time the scare of if radiation would make it to the UK. I remember radiation maps being present like weather forecasts.

Little did I realize how close we came to an even bigger tragedy. Having just completed episode 2 this revealed that the situation was far worse than originally known. The series is well acted, tense and I feel it portrays the USSR political system in a fair light, from dogmatic denial to the realization that horror is unfolding around them and the attempt to do the right thing.

The only mark against it, is what others have mentioned, and that is the British accents. The series is so go that you get lost in the action only to have that handed out of you when someone invariably talks like they're on Downton Abby. Overlooking that one grip and this is a solid 10.

Captain Marvel
(2019)

Went in with low expectation and was pleasantly surprised!
After some of the reviews here you would think that this movie is a turd. I was close to canceling my tickets and skipping it but my kids still wanted to go. Consequently I went in with low expectations. You know what, I was pleasantly surprised! I found it an enjoyable use of two hours and I was engaged the entire time.

I'm not invested in Marvel comics but I have seen all the Marvel films. I watched it on how it stood up as a movie with no prior conceived notions as to what this character should be.

I see many complaints about the film being boring. I'm not sure what movie those reviewers saw. I found how Brie Larsen played Vers to be appropriate for what we discover her Kree background to be; "show no emotion". After she lands on Earth we see her begin to discover who she really is and who is really the enemy. I found the twist to be a surprise (for me) and the way it was handled well done.

Weaknesses? I can see the argument that Captain Marvel not having (an apparent) weakness to be something that may reduce the tension in the movie but our family never felt that. If you are someone that wants two hours of battle than perhaps you will be bored. But if you want more beyond a CGI-fest then I think there is a lot to be pleased about in this movie. Yes there are contrived conveniences but hey, it's a Marvel movie; they all have them. Is it logical? No. Is it fun, keeps you engaged for two hours? Yes. There have been other Marvel movies where I get bored with endless fights scenes (cough, cough Black Panther..) This one did not have that and for that I am thankful.

How It Ends
(2018)

There is no end...
I like disaster movies but this one is just a disaster. I was hoping for something a bit more high brow and realistic than the usual Hollywood stuff but no, this is just stupid.

The father-in-law, potential son angst was over the top; totally unrealistic. The road trip starts out almost immediately with people trying to kill them. Really? I'd like to think there would still be some resemblance of humanity, but not this this flick. The road trip spans out across the US devoid of population. Yes parts of the US are sparsely populated but there are a lot of people between Chicago and Seattle. 90% of the movie is spent getting to Seattle. The scenes there are very good but over in a blink of an eye. Then super conveniently potential son-in-law finds girl with super jealous neighbor that's crazy. At this point your rolling your eyes at the absurdity of it all. Finally, mega volcanic (?) ash cloud chases them while they try to escape. Did they die, did they live? We do not know. What caused the ash cloud? Is this the end of the world or merely the pacific states? The film leaves you guessing.

Waste of 2 hours.

A Wrinkle in Time
(2018)

I have no idea what I just watch but my kids liked it.
I was massively underwhelmed by this movie. For much of the movie I had little idea what was going on. It seemed to just jump around, like I fell through some wrinkle and time traveled. People showed up, solutions were too easy to find. It seemed contrived and a disjointed mess.

The only reason I give it 4/10 was that my kids enjoyed it.

Pearl Harbor
(2001)

Good action effects do not save this disaster of a film...
I can honestly say that I can not remember the last time I saw a film this bad.

The film tries to do a Titanic by introducing the Pearl Harbor story through the eyes of two friends (Affleck and Hartnett) who go off to war and a love triangle with nurse (Beckinsale) they both meet.

The love story is predictable and corny. Over half the film is devoted on the two friends and their relationships to the nurse trying to give a back story to the characters so that you will feel for them come the impending attack. It does not work. It is pure cheese and is boring as well. I kept looking at my watch, wondering if anything would happen. During the film you feel nothing for the characters, seeing them as nothing more than the "pretty faces" of Hollywood, rather than character actors who would add to a convincing (I wish it only was) storyline. If this film wants to replicate Titanic, then it should sink with out a trace.....

The attack sequence on Pearl Harbor does liven things up a bit. But being already over an hour and a half into the film, it seems somewhat late to pick up the tempo after so much boredom.

During the attack sequence there were many shots that reminded me of the open sequence of Saving Private Ryan and of the sinking in Titanic. I guess that this is unavoidable given the nature of the film. However in both cases I was given the impression that the film makers (Michael Bay) were coping the techniques, and were not improving on them. Bay's typical use of slow motion in the effects was also overly used to the point of yawning with each successive slow shot. This was a shame as the special effects were otherwise excellent and the only saving point of the film.

Finally the retaliatory strike on Tokyo was again a master of special effects, but this whole section of the movie seemed like another film and seemed out of place. That as least was consistent with the poor pacing in the rest of the film.

I rented the film on DVD. I am glad that I only wasted 4 bucks. The DVD transfer is very good and the sound (DTS) was masterfull.

Score:

Sound (DTS): 10/10 Effects: 7/10 (let down by too much slowmo) Story: 1/10

Overall: 4/10

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
(1966)

May be cute in 1966 but now outdated..
As an Englishman who has moved to the US, this last Chistmas was the first time that I had seen this, and was indeed the first time that I had ever heard of The Grinch. This cartoon, seems to be an national obsession in the US. Perhaps it has some sentimental value for Americans raised on it, but for this 30 something, coming to it fresh, I just could not see what all the fuss was about.

The story revolves around The Grinch (some sort of green animal) who plans to destroy Christmas for the people of Whoville. The Who's of Whoville meanwhile continue with Christmas and and during which The Grinch himself discovers the joy of Christmas.

Whilst it may be a nice little tale, it is only a cartoon and now one which is quite outdated.

I am surprised at how The Grinch has become a peer to Santa Claus himself. He doesn't deserve it.

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