jfgibson73

IMDb member since June 2007
    Lifetime Total
    250+
    Top Reviewer
     
    IMDb Member
    12 years

Reviews

Joker
(2019)

No regrets
I liked Joker. JP was great fun to watch, and the atmosphere is great. It establishes a tone and sticks to it all the way through. It builds tension and has good payoffs. It's the kind of movie that I could walk into at any point and be drawn in to want to finish viewing. I hope they go through with a sequel. Normally, I wouldn't say that, but this movie just begs for it.

One True Thing
(1998)

Good movie
One True Thing tells the story of Ellen Gulding, an ambitious writer living in New York who has to move back in with her parents because her mother is dealing with cancer. Ellen always idolized her father, a professor of literature, and didn't quite understand what he saw in her mother. As the cancer progresses, Ellen grows closer to her mother and begins to resent her father's habit of putting his career first. Her mother begs her to help end her life, but Ellen is unable to go through with it. Her mother takes her own life, and Ellen goes back to writing, her life forever changed.

The Ring
(2002)

Had To Close My Eyes
This is one of my favorite horror movies, not because I enjoy watching it back over and over, but because of how much I enjoyed it when I saw it in the theater. It was so freaky, I had to close my eyes at one point. I think Gore Verbinski is a really good director, and I wish he did more like this. Watching it back again recently, I realized the story doesn't really hold up. It's mostly the atmosphere and the scares that work. As horror movies go, it was one of the most effective I've seen.

Yoga Hosers
(2016)

Sucks
This is not a good movie. It has no story and isn't funny. I liked it anyway. Sorry 'boot that. The two Colleens were fun to watch, and I liked the Canadian setting. I thought I would hate the little Nazi creatures, but they were tolerable. The ending is the worst part--really, the entire final act. I don't know why I was in the mood for this movie or why I didn't hate it, but this seems to happen once in a while. I ignored this movie when it came out because of how crappy it looked, but then one day I just felt like maybe I'd give it a chance. That's aboot it.

Fantasy Island
(2020)

I don't hate Blumhouse
For whatever reason, I seen to be able to tolerate these low budget suckfests that Blumhouse keeps putting out. Truth or Dare, Ma, and now this. They're aren't good, but I seem to be able to find the fun in them. In this movie, five strangers arrive at Fantasy Island to have their wishes fulfilled. Each guest is then set up for something amazing. As things start to go wrong, I was still interested--I wanted to see where it was all going. The part that I think will bother people is act III, when you expect to get explanations for what's been going on. It's not very satisfying and makes no sense. I'm sure many will use the term "lazy" to describe what the writers came up with. Personally, I had low expectations and kind of knew what I was getting into, so I guess I got what I deserved. I can't really complain about that. But as far as recommendations go, this is only partially watchable. Even less coherent than Truth or Dare.

Girl on the Third Floor
(2019)

I did not care for it
This movie was a chore to watch. C.M. Punk does a terrible job--and that's coming from a fan. The first part of the movie is Punk in an old house trying to fix it up for his pregnant wife. There are all sorts of unsavory details such as slime dripping from wall outlets and goop coming out of the shower. As he did the fix-up work during the first act, I suffered through painful dialog and goofy performances. He ends up sleeping with a lady who hangs around the house, and she keeps coming back to bother him. He then has a buddy who comes over to help with the renovations, but they argue over him cheating on his wife. Then the carnage begins. The young woman who Punk slept with kills his friend and his dog, who ends up in the drier. Punk tries to kill the woman, but she turns out to be supernatural. Then, we see that there is another character who hides in the house, a deformed creature with some kind of power who tortures Punk with marbles that crawl under his skin. Punk disappears for most of the third act, which is when the wife arrives to see how things are going. The movie goes off the rails and starts to resemble the weirder moments of Eyes Wide Shut. The wife escapes the house by smashing the creature's head in. She is then told that she passed a test and from the last scene, we see that she is still living in the house. She seems to be happily raising her baby alone, but the final shot shows Punk looking down at the crib through a grate. Why is he behind the grate? Why did he drop marbles into his daughters crib when they are clearly a choking hazard? Why did killing the deformed woman free the house from the supernatural threat? It felt very unfinished, as if the writers were happy enough with the first three fourths of the film that they felt they didn't need a resolution. I was especially disappointed at the time I wasted watching this movie because I wanted Punk to succeed. He picked the wrong project, but after this performance, I don't care to see him try again.

I Know What You Did Last Summer
(1997)

What are you waiting for?
So I might not like this movie as much if I were watching today for the first time. My opinion is biased by the fact that seeing this in the theater was just about the most fun I've had at a movie. That nostalgia is part of what I enjoy about it, but there are other good elements as well. For one, I like Jennifer Love Hewitt as a scream queen. Actually, that might be it. It's not big on story, the performances aren't anything special, and the kills are pretty tame. I'm giving it a seven based on my personal enjoyment of it, but I'm not recommending it for horror fans for the reasons stated above.

Good Boys
(2019)

You feel me, dawg?
This movie put me in the mood to laugh, but then never really delivered. I liked the premise, the characters, and most of the dialog, but it didn't get me to laugh out loud. More of a "heh, that's funny" in my head. I did take some enjoyment from it as I kept waiting for things to kick into high gear, but by the end, I was like, that was fine. I'll give it a 6 for trying something on the braver side.

Starry Eyes
(2014)

Yuck
This movie is about an actress who gets an audition for an important role. The problem is that the executive casting her wants her to do things in return for the job. She rejects the offer at first, but then goes back and agrees. After that, she slowly acts crazier and crazier as her hair falls out and her skin looks worse and worse. Then at the end, she is returned to form and becomes a star, I think. I didn't care much for the setup, so I wasn't really into it from the beginning. Then, as the girl started to change, it became really unappealing to watch. By the end, I didn't care at all. Not recommended.

Spring
(2014)

Horror Sci-fi
A young man takes a trip to Italy and meets a girl. They spend time together over a couple of days, but then he finds out she changes into a hideous creature from time to time. I don't even remember what happens at the end. I really didn't like the lead actor, so that put me off the film right away. Every interaction he had with the rest of the cast was marred by the fact that I didn't want to see his face.

End Trip
(2018)

Spoiler Review
Here was a movie about a late night drive through the city in a ride sharing vehicle. The passenger tells the driver about the problems he's having, and the driver offers advice. They become more trusting and open with each other. Then, the passenger murders the driver and steals his identity. He goes to his apartment and kidnaps his girlfriend. She eventually gets away, and he puts on a new disguise.

Jojo Rabbit
(2019)

It's a normal stalemate
Here was something different. A young boy living in Nazi Germany idolizes Hitler but then falls in love with a girl hiding in his house. I didn't find this movie laugh out loud funny. I was more like thinking in my head that there were some clever moments. And one shocking one. I didn't really get that invested in it, but it did have a nice, satisfying ending.

Grave Encounters 2
(2012)

Forgettable
I don't remember most of what happened in this movie. I did like the fact that it was connected to the first one, but that's about it. I think there were probably some jump scares. I don't know.

Grave Encounters
(2011)

No Escape
I think I've been lucky to avoid a lot of the bad found footage movies--and there are a lot out there--because I have enjoyed most of the ones I've seen. This one was almost hard to watch because 1) the setting is a place I wouldn't want to even enter, and 2) the conceit of the movie--that they can't escape the asylum because it keeps transforming into endless hallways--is very smothering. It's reminds of a movie called Triangle, in which the characters are in such a horrible situation that I stop enjoying the film and just start thinking about how much I would hate to have this happen to me. I think I would just give up and resign myself to my fate, because it's such a defeating premise. It had some jump scares, but when I realized they could never leave, I lost all hope.

Found Footage 3D
(2016)

Found Footage
I've never been put off by the found footage genre. I've liked way more of them than I've disliked. So I was glad to find one that was fairly well rated. It had a couple good jump scares. It's about a group of filmmakers documenting the making of a horror films. The premises they are worked on is haunted or cursed or something. It kept me interested right up to the end, but it isn't anything that I expect to watch back again.

Bone Tomahawk
(2015)

Odd Mixture
I just wasn't into this movie. I can't give a specific reason, but I found it a chore to sit through. Its a western where a woman gets abducted by some kind of native tribe and the characters that go to rescue her. I can't really say that there were any moments that stuck out for me--I've already forgotten a lot of the details. I went on to see Brawl in Cell Block 99 and Dragged Across Concrete, both of which I liked better, but didn't love. I might just not be the audience for this director.

Dragged Across Concrete
(2018)

Throwing some cast iron
This movie is a fine companion piece to the director's Brawl in Cell Block 99. In that movie, we knew the main character was going to end up in jail because, well, title. I didn't know where he was going with this one. The performances are similarly understated as his last movie, but I thought the ending was slightly less satisfying. I like the director's style, but I kind of hope he picks a more interesting story for his next project.

Brawl in Cell Block 99
(2017)

The prison within a prison
I enjoyed this story. I appreciated how understated the performances were. It kept me interested right up until the last moment--I would have even liked it to go longer, but we got a very satisfying finale that the whole movie inevitably builds towards. I think this would have worked really well as a grindhouse movie from the 70's, but it still feels fresh and modern. Well done.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
(2019)

I would be disappointed if I had any expectations of enjoying it
I found this movie entirely unfunny. I've never seen a movie that so explicitly explains its own jokes. It relies on you to love everything that Kevin Smith does without question. It is full of callbacks and in-jokes meant to appease his hardcore audience, but alienates everyone else. I think when I watched Clerks, I laughed the hardest I ever have at a movie, but those days are long gone. I did enjoy the subplot about the family stuff to a degree, but it also felt extremely forced. Just because some of the characters tear up doesn't mean the viewer will. I decided to sit through this movie mostly just to see who made appearances in it, but I don't think I enjoyed a single cameo. If these characters ever appear again, I hope it is in small supporting roles--they do not belong in the spotlight.

Heat
(1995)

I don't think there is anything I would change about this movie
Heat is the story of a cop and the criminal he is chasing. It is directed by Michael Mann, and his filmmaking style is very evident, mostly in the look and in the score. There are many great performances, and I find it endlessly watchable. I can start watching this movie at any point and be drawn in to watching the rest. Every scene is great. Having taken so long to get made, I consider this movie a masterpiece and a towering achievement. I often wonder when I watch it how well others remember it--it doesn't seem to get discussed much in articles or lists. But I consider it to be the best work of every performer in it. I have to give it a ten.

Sense and Sensibility
(1995)

Perfect in every sense
I have not given very many tens in my reviews, but I feel like this movie is perfect. Watching back again, I was reminded of all the great lines I loved quoting, but I was surprised at just how funny this movie still is. I did not remember that it is almost more of a comedy than a drama. I can't imagine there is another period piece so well done as this. It is full of emotion and forces you to care about the characters. And the supporting cast gets to go crazy, playing to the rafters. Some viewers may be put off by the flowery language, but I thoroughly enjoyed every line. It makes me wonder why Emma Thompson didn't get more of her scripts made. Delightful.

6 Years
(2015)

Worth seeing
I thought this was a fine little teen drama. I liked the lead actress, but everyone did a good job with the material. It's about a young couple who grow apart after being together for literally six years. The boy gets a job offer and they end up arguing about it, he goes off and sleeps with someone else, and they break up. Twice in this movie, the girl gets so emotional that she injures her boyfriend, and he ends up in the emergency room. Worth a watch.

Color Out of Space
(2019)

Time to milk the alpacas
A meteorite lands on a family's farm and slowly infects a family, causing them to act increasingly weird. The first act of the movie was very cliched, with ridiculous dialog setting up the family as country goofs. Once the meteor hits, the movie becomes more visual. At first, the family starts to do harmful things, like when the mom cuts off her own fingers, or when the young boy sits outside by the well all day. Eventually, the chaos builds, and insects and animals mutate into creatures. The most effective part of the movie was when the mother and her young son became fused together into something hideous. One by one, the characters are killed off in various ways, until the only survivor is a scientist who was there to survey the water. One nitpick I had with the movie was the totally unnecessary narration that bookends the beginning and ending. But it kept me interested to see where it went, and I think that a lot of the images from this movie will stay with me for a while.

Tropic Thunder
(2008)

Great All The Way Through
Here is a comedy that doesn't fizzle out half way through. Tropic Thunder is strong from start to finish. It sends up celebrity culture and does it from an insider's perspective. Robert Downey Jr. stands out, but I also liked McConahey, Stiller, and of course Tom Cruise. I would like more movies like this. What has Ben Stiller been doing lately?

L.A. Confidential
(1997)

My All Time Favorite
I love everything about this movie. It's one of the most transporting films I've ever seen, and I watch it back endlessly. All I can really say is that I recommend it, but you should understand that it is a complex story that may require several viewings. I remember seeing the t.v. ad for this movie and thinking it looked really pedestrian. Then, I saw a clip and liked it enough to give it a chance. When I watch this movie, I absorb it like rays from the sun. It is the best ever.

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