bringbackberniew

IMDb member since October 2007
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    13 years

Reviews

Columbo: Negative Reaction
(1974)
Episode 2, Season 4

the good & bad of a highly-rated but only OK episode, incl approaching shark
I have been watching the few highest-rated episode of each season, in chronological order, so this is maybe the 10th Columbo I watched. It is the first I rate as maybe below-avg.

Good: It is. Columbo, so generally interesting & pleasant & intelligent fare.

Must have been a 2 hr episode, which I didn't realize til 75% through it. The extra time allowed a few extra extended scenes, with the nun & the now-sober old drunk being well done.

I suppose people liked seeing DVD.

Bad: This has the dumbest murderer of any I watched. He sets up this complicated plot, but then makes mistake after mistake.

He leaves an extra photo at the murder scene, which isn't terrible, but a murderer that organized would surely burn it.

He constantly chats & brags to Columbo & gives Columbo FAR too much info.

(I'm amazed they didn't contrast the level & direction of the bullet that killed the ex-con vs his "just shut up" story.) Who would be dumb enough to schedule a trip overseas with his pretty & very "friendly" assistant for about a week after his wife is murdered? Who woul be that dumb?

Having done that, who would then have her hanging around for Columbo to see them being very "friendly" together?

The ending: don't get me started on the ending.

All in all, DVD was probably the worst murderer in any episode I have watched. Is he supposed to feel so guilty that he basically wants to confess and does that by just giving himslef away?

Did Columbo's eccentricities begin to jump-the-shark here? They began to be so outlandish in so many scenes that they began to interfere with the recipe rather than be an interesting spice. The nun / raincoat scene was funny, but a few of the other things were more distracting. I almost get the feeling they made a 2 hr episode just so Columbo's eccentricities could have 25 minutes to co-star.

Moonrise Kingdom
(2012)

Look at me. I have a STYLE! A-cloying we will go. A-cloying we will go.
Heigh-ho ... a-cloying we will go.

It has the same style as all WA's films. It is probably above average for a WA film, far better than "The Life Aquatic", for example, but I can't be bothered to decide if it WA's best. WA's "best" are only so good, since they all suffer from the over-reliance on "style". The visual part of WA's style is what make me bother trying to watch his films. The other parts of his "style" is why I seldom finish watching a WA film. The talk strangely, walk strangely, even stand strangely, use a lack of emotion to supposedly show emotion are just too much past about an hour, even in the best of WA's films.

The two kids act like they can't act, but so do the adults, so who knows. One "STYLE" to rule them all.

In the Line of Fire
(1993)

Maybe oscar for Most Forced Romance for our Hero
I am surprised this has such a high rating. The story is mostly good. Clint is fine, but

The romance is one of the most forced in the long Hollywood tradition of forced romances for aging leading men.

The foot-chase scenes where the old-guy Clint is out-running all the younger agents are hysterical. If you zoom in, you can see where they edited out the ball-and-chains they had tied to the ankles of the young guys.

John M has some good scenes, but he simply is not convincing as an ex-CIA, top 'PREDATOR" assassin. Neither physically nor in his inability to focus sometimes.

The Dead Zone
(1983)

the first 80 minutes are an "8"
Quite good. Great cast and great core story. But, the sub-plot about the politician comes smashing in like a mack truck. It is over-wrought and it overwhelms the previous quality of the film.

Then again, I have not been a big S. King fan since I was a teen. I think most of his writing seeks out the over-wrought. Adults can do better.

Difficult People
(2015)

Total of 3 funny lines in 12 minutes. They snapped a joke every 4 seconds.
So, 60 / 4 = 15 & 15 x 12 = 180 & 3 / 180 = 1.67%. So they're success rate at being funny is 1.67%, yet they chose to make a living out of comedy. No wonder they are such miserable people. Interesting things about this show:

Hulu recommended this to me because I watched 30 Rock. Wow. Have these companies dumbed-down their customer interaction that much? If the people at Hulu cannot tell the difference between Liz and Jack of 30 Rock and these two, then I do pity everyone at Hulu.

I have to thank them for re-confirming my decision to move out of NYC after living and working in Manhattan for 5 years. It seems they live in Manhattan. I made a lot of money in Manhattan, but left even more on the table by moving away. No problem. Many people in Manhattan are just miserable and glad to make the people around them miserable.

Wall Street
(1987)

Compared to BIG GOVERNMENT, I'll take Wall Street every time.
If you never worked on Wall Street, don't even bother reviewing this. If you're a fan of BIG GOVERNMENT, don't even bother reviewing this. 2 things so many reviews get wrong:

1. They call the '80s the "pinnacle of greed" or some such thing. LOL. The '80s were the antipasto and only recently have we gotten into the secondo piatto. Watch the billions being made sucking off "stimulus".

2. They call Wall Street "takers". There is no bigger TAKE in the world than TAXES and there are no bigger TAKERS than those in Washington DC.

ps: awesome film, the acting, the writing, the reality, the music, the locations. It almost makes me miss my days in Manhattan. Almost.

And remember, what's worth doing is worth doing for money. Ciao.

Triumph of the Spirit
(1989)

nothing special
This is generally similar to a dozen other "nazi death camp" films. It sure isn't similar to "La Vita è bella", which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The names change. The stories change, but the over-arching story doesn't change. People do what they have to do to stay alive as long as there is any hope of the cavalry coming. And, the nazis were twisted, sick, bleeps.

Seinfeld: The Money
(1997)
Episode 12, Season 8

Maybe the worst episode
Only good things: Peterman is back and saying "Hey. I think that's Sarah Silverman."

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
(1979)

Take 2001: A Space Odyssey. Remove all humor
And really, all other emotions. Insert long, whothoughtthiswasagoodidea scenes of people trying not to look bored while staring at TBS special effects. Bingo. You have this film. 2 other Doh! moments: 1. when the "child" keeps saying V'Ger came to Earth to find its Creator, why wasn't it obvious to Kirk and esp Spock to replu "WE are your Creator! Now stop ths you silly child." So obvious. 2. when the "child" keeps saying V'Ger must "join" with its Creator, who didn't expect some copulating between Will & Ilia at the end? Really. Obvious. So, while being bored during the staring-scenes, it was boring to wait for th end I knew was coming. 3* because it is Star Trek. Kirk & Spock are cool. +1* for Ilia's legs. Awesome.

Top Gun
(1986)

Top Gun ... Archer gives it a 10
I'll stop at "8". Great flight scenes & great soundtrack. Maybe not the greatest music ever but used perfectly. Take off 1 pt for the beach volleyball scene and 1 pt for all the towels-in-locker-room scenes. Though, for all those who love the word "homoerotic", it is not homoerotic to show nude, male muscles if they're trying to get women to buy tickets. It is marketing. One of the great things about Top Gun is how people who love to get offended get all offended when they say "Make us proud." You know the ones. They sit there and think "I'm not proud of anything. Why should they get to be proud of anything?"

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
(2003)

bizarrely long title warns of bewildering long length then to boisterous over-rating
I could maybe give it a 7. I'll go 6. It is not bad at all. It is terribly earnest & the bromance between the captain & the doctor is laughable. A captain of a WAR SHIP doesn't get the name "Lucky Jack" by putting himself & his ship at a disadvantage to the enemy based on his emotional pal. That is exactly what this captain does every time he listens to the dubious doc. I guess the popularity can be traced to 1. it seems to be based on a book or series of books and fans of the books love it 2. is there any Brit who didn't rate it "10"? 3. it gladly isn't a sequel or a superhero or mutant movie or BOTH, so it gives the rest of us something to enjoy. The whole Jonah character is laughable too.

A Bridge Too Far
(1977)

3 FULL hours of "military intelligence"
Blunder after blunder. Arrogance heaped on hubris spooned all over sheer stupidity. Generals? What it is you're good for? Absolutely nothing.

Grown Ups
(2010)

Who would order 17 hamburgers & fries at Woodman's?
There are many dumb things in this film but that is the dumbest. Woodman's is a mecca for lobster rolls, fried clams, chowdah & maybe even a whole lobster. Hamburgers? Do they even sell them? How could AS make that mistake when he spends the whole film wearing t-shirts & hats with logos of various New England schools, teams, etc. Another mistake: Amoskeag is a NH name but this is filmed in MA. I lived in both MA & NH. Amoskeag is a NH name. Woodman's is in MA. This is filmed in MA, other than LA I guess. The film? Kind of dumb but occasionally funny. It isn't 1/10th as funny as The Wedding Singer, AS's only really good comedy. Look on the bright side, at least W Ferrell wasn't yelling stupid nonsense in it.

Wild Card
(2015)

Not exactly bad,
Maybe even under-rated, but it is strange. There are scenes and characters that go NOWHERE. You're left wondering "What the heck?" And there is the attempt to shoehorn in a character-study of Statham's LV shmuck. And, who but the idiots at Lionsgate would agree to spend $30,000,000 to make this film? And, for that $30,000,000 paid some actors and actresses who you will recognize but wonder "What the heck is he/she doing in this?"

My Blue Heaven
(1990)

from back when it was "OK" to make a pleasant comedy
Without forcing Social Justice Warrior or other political propaganda down people's throats. Martin is funny, though not in the least believable as an Eyetalian mobster from NYC. I always vote extra for Joan Cusack. Her facial expressions and even her voice brighten the show. Moranis can be annoying, but he is pretty good here. He makes a good "buddy" for Martin. The writing is funny, though I'm sure the so-called experts whined that it isn't "intelligent" or some such thing. So, if you're tired of all the lecturing & SJWing & other propagandizing in the last decade of so-called "comedies", watch this. I would say 2 of the female characters aside from Cusack were poorly timed & poorly-presented.

Les frères Sisters
(2018)

The dialogue is ridiculous
Especially coming from the mouth of a guy who is usually drunk and spends his days in a saddle while finding people to kill. Just plain ridiculous. I guess the phrase "modern western" means a movie with a ridiculous plot, ridiculous characters & totally ridiculous dialogue ... + cowboys. yeah. got it.

Yes, the plot & the pandering to identity politics are even more ridiculous than the dialogue & that is quite a hurdle. 1 extreme example of the ridiculous plot/dialogue: they talk about "still being young" & retiring but Reilley is over 50 yrs old & this is supposed to be the old west ... maybe 170 yrs ago. Are the writers & director too stupid to understand how young people (esp cowboys/gunslingers) died back then or do they just not care? Probably both. D - U - M - B ! I do like JC Reilley & all 4 main actors were solid.

The Ring
(2002)

Samara & Samara & Samara. Do-gooder hipsters get B-Slapped.
Creepy kid. Pretty mom. Seven days. To the last image they whine & whine. And all the yesterdays of these tools Lead to weekly death. Don't disassemble, dumb hipster. Your baby-mommy played you for a fool. That kid imitates Sixth Sense upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told in Japan, plus wet t-shirt, Signifying cold water. Nevermore.

Olympus Has Fallen
(2013)

Standards have fallen!
Name the dozen most ridiculously stupid things in this film. Wait, that is way too easy. Name the 30 most ridiculously stupid things in this film. Yeah, I know, still would not take a great memory or any hard thought. Oh, never mind.

It is actually occasionally funny & entertaining, when it is not just ridiculously stupid.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
(2019)

more stupid social justice warrior pandering by Lionsgate idiots
Did you know that after releasing La La Land LGFa stock rose into mid-$30s/share? Did you know that since then the idiots at Lionsgate fill every film with stupid social pandering (instead of a good story) & LGFa stock is somehwere under $10/share? Yes. By letting them control their film-making, they've destroyed 70% of the value of the company. In this one, we have (AS USUAL) every white male depicted as evil or stupid or just plain weak & the females and ... wait for it ... MEXICAN ?MIGRANTS? as all powerful & knowledgeable. Std stuff from Lionsgate, but even a little beyond std, because the Mexican is actually Magic Mexican. Yes. This Magic Mexican solves everything & know everything at the, ahem, flick of a switchblade. There is a "haunted house" that the locals used to visit all the time. There is a secret door. Somehow, 100s of locals during dozens of visits never discovered the secret door. Who does? Bingo! The Magic Mexican discovers it after being in the house for < 2 minutes. Want more? There's a voice cone (precursor to LP, which half of you don't get either). Who knows what it is? Yes. The Magic Mexican does. But wait. You need a device to play the thing. Who knows exactly where to look for it (using all of 5 seconds soup-to-nuts). Yes. The Magic Mexican does. I could go on. There are more. It is stupid film-making. Beyond that, this film is just plain boring. BORING horror films. GREAT IDEA, brought to you .

Toy Story 4
(2019)

Toy Boring. No. New. Ideas.
Same old same old since #2. Woody needs to make a kid happy. Another toy is in trouble. Woody struggles to help that toy & also the kid. Buzz, etc help when Woody needs them. Well, somewhat different in this one is that Woody always needs to be told what to do & when to do it by Bo Peep. This is not surprising given Hollywood's current need to portray women as strong & noble and men as weak & nasty. And then there is Gabby, who is alternately sweet(ish) & evil. The only thing more creepy than Gabby are her accomplices. How/why did they decide to make Creepy Story with main themes being emancipation and emasculation?

Veronica Mars
(2004)

TBD how many seasons I will watch
I am at end of Season 1. V Mars dropped quickly from a smartly-written, engaging high-school coming of age tale for Jane Marple wannabes to a what-in-the-world-are-they-thinking series of a high-school girl (not off for the summer) putting Sherlock Holmes & Colombo to shame. Seriously, Veronica is in high-school and goes to classes, yet she solves mysteries in a day or two that would take a pair of full-time professional detectives 10x as long to solve. It is dizzying. I guess they think the audience needs to have a mystery solved in each 1 hour episode? l

Arbitrage
(2012)

Well-above-avg Moral Tragedy for those who can ignore questionable plot details
The Nate guy who played Jimmy stood out in the acting. Tim Roth was a questionable choice. Gere is Gere. Sarandon is on the periphery. I'd like to know what the title "abritrage" refers to, since the main plot doesn't include any financial arbitrage. Perhaps it just seemed cool to the author. Perhaps it refers to some emotional extension of the idea of arbitrage. Some plot details are questionable, eg (1) the injuries suffered by Gere, which seem significant at first, but do not impede his going on with his life & business almost as if nothing ever happened (2) the entire "we lost $421 M but I borrowed $421 M from a friend to cover it up and .... " Not at all clear. Are we to believe that Gere already took the $421 M he borrowed and put it into the funds, ie gave it away? So then he nets only $100 M for selling his firm? Sarandon sure will be surprised. (3) The criminal investigation moves far more quickly than is possible in the real world, while the M&A action moves for more slowly. M&A news leaks like a sieve. That deal-making & negotiation would be in the news and the cops would have heard about it. (4) The big celebration by staff of his firm at being acquired by a big bank. No. Would not happen. That is not a pay-day for them. It is a pay-day for Gere. For the staff, it is unwelcome change into unknown bureaucracy.

Zama
(2017)

draws you into its strange little world, but WHY?
The costumes, cinematography, etc do create a self-contained but claustrophobia-inducing world. The random sounds, strange glances, etc make one wonder if it is all just some inside joke in a pointless world. And, so much attention is on the insecure zama & the supercilious governor that there isn't even any real exploration of day-to-day life.

All in all, one of the strangest films ever.

John Wick
(2014)

Imbecilic. There is no story.
The "screenplay" obviously consisted of only the outline of a violent video game that they decided to put on film before making the game. The game would be bad enough, BUT THIS???? This you can't even play to get (gag) immersed. This you just sit there and let it hit you over the head over & over & over & over & ...

Only good things in this: 1. spotting the gratuitous Peter Luger sign 2. thinking "Hey. That's the Lt from The Wire. I forget. Is he the one who was once a backup singer for Joan Armatrading? Hmm. No, that was the other guy. The detective. Joan Armatrading. Cool. Which song was that? HHmmm? Oh yeah, maybe Love & Affection. Joan Armatrading. Cool."

A Beautiful Mind
(2001)

reasons people rate this 1*, aka peoples gotz problems
Reasons people rate this 1*: 1. Nash isn't "gay enough" 2. his mental illness isn't terrifying enough 3. he & his wife don't fight enough 4. there isn't a deep -dive into his math contributions worthy of a math journal 5. Crowe was too old to play a college student 6. Crowe isn't really from WV 7. every event isn't in exactly historic chronological order

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