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A Wrinkle in Time

"Disappointing" is too much of an understatement
The movie got two stars from me because of good efx, The rest was just a disaster. A book that won multiple awards and has been a standby for middle school literature was absolutely ripped up and thrown away. A beautiful story was ruined.

They used the names from the book and some terms, otherwise it was completely unrecognizable. The child actors (Storm Reid, Levi Miller and Deric McCabe) all did credible jobs, while the adult actors, many of whom are very accomplished, fell flat, which lays the blame at the foot of director Ava DuVernay.

As to the horrible, disjointed story, I don't know who to blame other than Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell.

I hope losing $200 million on this movie was a lesson to TWDC to not mess with well known, much beloved books.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Surrender Benson
Episode 1, Season 15

Horrible episode
This is one of the worst L&O SVU's I've ever seen, but then again I think the show has been sliding downhill in its writing since about season 8 maybe.

The stories used to be realistic, a lot were pulled from actual incidents. At some point they went off the rails with psycho-dramas and focusing more on the recurring characters than on the story.

This was one of those episodes. It was a horribly written episode, the acting was terse and over the top. Then they started carrying the stories over several episodes, which made it worse. It is one thing to have continuity about a character's life, but it is dumb when they try to turn it into an episodic serial drama.

Man of Steel

One of the stupidest movies of all time.....
.... and that is saying something. There have been a lot of stupid movies, but this is right up there.

I won't go with a point by point dissection because that would require spoilers.

I really can't think of too many positives. I'll give most of the actors credit for playing their parts well, especially the teenaged Clark. Unfortunately the actor I wasn't impressed with was Chris Meloni, who normally I love. His performance felt stilted.

Kevin Costner did a nice job as Mr. Kent and ditto for Diane Lane as Mrs. Kent.

Henry Cavill, who I only knew previously from The Tudors, was exceptional I thought.

I'll lay the films deficiencies at the feet of David Goyer and Zack Snyder.

I just don't think it was worth the time I spent watching it.

The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur Is Great
Another terrific movie from Pixar and Disney. Let's start with the easy stuff, the craft of the movie itself. It is amazing how far the state of the art has come since Pixar first started making movies. The animation is seamless and deep. The characters move with such dexterity and you can read the emotions with out the words or music. The backgrounds are equally magnificent.

But as great as the animation is, the story, as with all Pixar movies is what makes it truly great. The story is familiar, a boy and his dog..... er dinosaur, and it is even predictable. You know how it is going to end (more or less), but what makes it great is how it gets there; how the bond and friendship forms and how they face adversity together. The movie has a lot of heart, that same kind of heart that they brought to Toy Story 3.

Given the timing and season, I expect this to be a big hit, maybe not to the level of Frozen, but I think it will have legs.


Very cute, feel good movie
I gave Jumanji 7 out 10, which is a pretty good rating from me. 10 are epics like Gone With The Wind & Lawrence of Arabia, 9 are classics and 8 the near great. 7, like Jumanji, are just good, clean fun; not Oscar worthy movies, but movies worth watching.

Robin Williams delivers a fairly straight performance for him, but it works, it is good acting. Kirsten Dunst, does a great job as his love interest and former playmate.

Other roles by David Alan Grier, Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Hyde and Bebe Neuwirth fill out the cast nicely along with the child actors who play Peter & Judy and the young Alan & Sarah.

Jumangi was one of the better, more successful films to come out of TriStar.

Sexting in Suburbia

Bad, bad, bad movie
Where do I begin with how bad this movie is. The writing is sophomoric, the acting wooden and the plot, while plausible, is badly developed.

Why do they insist on hiring 25 year old actors to play high school kids. If they are going to hire 25 year old actors to play high school kids can't they at least find ones who can act? As to the writing.... they say write what you know. While the writer may know that high school kids can be mean, he has no idea how they act, what they do and no idea about sports, prosecutors, police and the issues around sexting.

Just a bad movie... take the two hours and do something else in life.

7th Heaven

Review of the reviews
So as the title says, this is a review of the reviews.

I wonder where these reviewers were when the show was on the air? They pretend it wasn't a highly successful, highly rated show that lasted 11 seasons making it one of less than 30 prime time TV shows that ever ran as long.

There were a lot of reasons for the success of the show and there seem to be a lot of people who hate that others enjoyed those reasons; an intact family, a religious bent, involved & dedicated parents, etc.

7th Heaven was a terrific show and if it was a low rated as the reviewers give it, it wouldn't have lasted one season, let alone eleven,

The Dust Factory

Enjoyed it, but disjointed
I enjoyed this movie, but I have an idea a lot was left on the cutting room floor. The hardest part of being a director is either putting your vision on the screen in under 120 minutes or creating a movie so compelling that the audience will sit for 3 hours.

There is so much we don't know about Ryan and his family. We know he is mute through trauma, his father's death, but we don't know how long since his father's death since apparently at the end of the movie his mother either has a boyfriend or new husband. Which is why I think that some of those details got cut out for the sake of time.

All that aside, Ryan Kelly and Hayden Panettiere were very compelling as the young actors. There is a sweet vulnerability about Ryan and a sad undercurrent to Hayden's joie de vivre.

There is also a very strong performance by Armin Mueller-Stahl as the grandfather.

I enjoyed the movie, as I said in my title, but wish that Mr. Small could have put his story on the screen with more clarity.

Dog with a Blog

Entertaining and original
I don't get the reviews criticizing this show. I find it original, highly entertaining with interesting and fun characters. The blended family is believable, quirky and fun. The stage asides are cute and clever. I find the entire program refreshing.

It is a situation comedy and the situations are relate-able ones like first crushes, trying to meld two families and trying to fit in in junior high school. The vehicle of the talking dog is used well as the common sense voice in the household.

The acting is good, the dialog crisp and the cast is entirely likable, even the evil foil from next door has his charms.

In short, this is a good show for the tween, Disney Channel audience.

Who We Are

Cartoonishly Bad
Sorry, but nothing in this short is recommendable. It starts with the mid to late 20's actors playing teens and goes downhill from there. The characters are cardboard cutouts, not real characters, from the lisping, soft son, to the rigid pastor father there is just no there there.

A more interesting story would be a gay character who doesn't look, act and talk gay. Why not make Connor the butch captain of the football team and create real complexity and dilemma where you don't just worry about the pressure from your Christian parents, but feel the pressure of peers as well and the true internal struggle of a Christian teen trying to deal with his sexuality.

How about developing a Christian pastor, who while he preaches against homosexuality, now feels his own conflicts as his athlete son, the one he is so proud of, starts to confront his sexuality. The domineering father who forced his always a pansy son into athletics is such a cliché, so is the automatic Christian homophobe.

There is no depth, shaky acting (except the mother) and a tired old storyline.

The Day After Tomorrow

Baaaaaaaaaaad movie!
Once the tsunami swallows NYC, a bad script swallows the movie. What a waste of a great premise and great EFX team! Why did they burn books and not furniture?? Wood burns longer and hotter than paper! How did the wolves survive the tidal wave? Why did the wolves pass up the 500,000 dead people in NYC to come find Jake and friends? What happened to JD's little brother? Father? Why open plots and leave them dangling? Could the characters have been anymore one dimensional? The President with a cowboy hat looking befuddled and being told what to do by the grandfatherly Veep? People in my theater actually laughed at some of the supposedly dramatic moments.

I loved Independence Day, even with it's political overtones that it didn't need, this was even worse and more preachy. Yuck! Wait for the DVD.


The Fruit Machine

Classic Coming of Age Movie
Two gays teens on the run after seeing a brutal murder. It deals with homosexuality, racism, friendship & love.... and handles them all well, what more could ask from a movie! The acting is sincere, the directing well paced. Overall this is a very entertaining movie

Summer of the Monkeys

Great Adaptation of Wilson Rawls Classic Novel
This is a well acted & directed adaptation of Wilson Rawls "Summer of the Monkeys". A truly great movie for kids and a book that ought to be read too, along with Rawls award winning, "Where the Red Fern Grows".

Good summer fare for kids out of school for the summer and entertaing for adults too.

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