grafxman

IMDb member since August 2002
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    IMDb Member
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Reviews

Black and Blue
(2019)

Naomie Harris ROCKS!
I watched this movie for one reason, Naomie Harris. I first saw her nearly 20 years ago in White Teeth, a TV miniseries. She showed up again in Skyfall. Now Black and Blue, a dirty cop story withe plenty of great characters and an excellent story line. She always delivers the goods and is well worth watching in whatever she is in.

She plays a tough rookie cop who is in a very corrupt department. Cops are executing people, dealing drugs and whacking anyone and everyone who gets in their way. As an Army veteran she is not buying into any of this corruption.

After she records a murder on her body cam she is marked for death by just about every cop in town. All the civilians hate cops so she has a tough time finding any help. This is about as good a cop movies as you will see. Tyrese Gibson also gives an excellent performance and so does Nafessa Williams.

The Rhythm Section
(2020)

Much much better than I expected
I haven't seen Blake Lively much and what little bit I have seen her in I didn't care much for. However, in this movie she showed me she can really act. There is no pretty girl in this flick. Little if any makeup and a fierce disposition is her modus operandi here. She is nearly unrecognizable.

This is a revenge movie. She wants revenge for the murder of her family however she has no skills. In a nutshell she gets a trainer, acquires some skills and puts them to use. Terrific fight scenes and car chases and shoot outs.

Beyond the Sky
(2018)

I didn't expect much...boy was I surprised
It's one of those rare flicks that starts off with a frankly somewhat boring story line about a kid whose mother went missing. Daddy claims alien abduction. How ridiculous. So the kid grows up and begins hunting aliens with a videographer side kick. After about two thirds of this slightly interesting movie and event occurs, which I will not reveal here, that savagely and astonishingly changes the entire thrust of the film. It's a terrific segue. That alone makes the film well worth watching.

Freaks
(2018)

WOW!
What a terrific flick. It's a bit mysterious. It's a bit wonderful. It's absolutely amazing as well as, that rarely experienced, completely original.

Furthermore the movie doesn't rely on any of the annoying bothersome and unbelievable gimmicks that so many, in fact nearly all, movies as well as TV series rely on to get people's attention these days.

There are no women smooching each other. There are no men smooching each other either. This flick is pure totally wonderful original 100% SciFi. What a great story!

Rough Night in Jericho
(1967)

Terrific western
This is a very unusual western movie. It has a terrific and original story line. I was astonished to see actors playing against type. They all did a terrific job with their characters. I never really thought of Dean Martin as anything but a singer. In this flick he showed me that he can really act. They delightful Jean Simmons is present and does an excellent as a strong, tough woman. All in all this is a western worth watching.

Air Force One
(1997)

excellent action flick
This is a very exciting and tense thriller. Harrison Ford as the president. Glenn Close as the vice president. Gary Oldman as the bad guy. All of them do an excellent job with their characters.

The Air Force One 747 is also a star. It's capabilities and features are paramount to the story line. The story line holds together very logical until the last several minutes which frankly I thought turned to the somewhat ridiculous. Still and all it is very much worth watching.

Queen of Katwe
(2016)

From the slums of Uganda a genius arise
This is the true story of Phiona Mutesi. She is but a child from a poverty stricken fatherless home in a Ugandan slum. However she has something very special and that thing is her keen analytical mind. Her ability to see several chess moves ahead serves her well and enables her to be victorious in many chess games around the world. You don't need to be a chess player to love this movie. It's terrific. Just search for her name and read her bio at the Wikipedia.

Level 16
(2018)

A very odd "school"
Things are regimented here. It's an all girls "school" and there are strange things happening with the girls. A beautiful but mysterious woman seems to be in charge. There's the voice that admonishes the girls to do certain things. Then there's the doctor. You don't gain any insight into the movie until it's about half over. Then then reality slowly unfolds in horrifying detail. Can the helpless girls do anything? They don't even realize what's going on. The viewer doesn't even realize what's going on! Things eventually, of course reach a climax but will everything be resolved? Will all those girls be safe from the evil that resides in the "school" of mystery and horror?

Stagecoach
(1966)

Better than expected
I didn't expect much from this flick. After all how can anyone give John Wayne any competition? The story line is familiar and the acting isn't that great. HOWEVER, this movie has what is likely the greatest stagecoach chase in cinema history. The rest of the stage coach traveling is clearly done in the studio. However the Indians chasing the stage coach is absolutely top notch. That alone makes the movie worthwhile.

First Light
(2018)

Excellent payoff
This movie starts off pretty slow. In fact it's downright boring, at least at first. Character development is rather slow. Then something weird and very unusual happens. Then things start to pick up speed. It gets better and better and more and more interesting. Then it ends with a resounding finale.

I really like movies like this. You don't know where things are going. You don't know what's going to happen next. Be patient. The payoff at the end is worth the wait.

Clara
(2018)

Be patient. It's worth the wait.
A scientist needs an assistant. He's a planet hunter. No one is interested in being his assistant because he's on the outs with the university and is kind of a weird guy. Then one day this strange woman shows up. She has no knowledge or skills but he lets her help and gives her on the job training. She's an artist and acts a bit odd.

The movie is unexciting and slow moving but as I say above, be patient, it's worth the wait. What is happening while hunting for intelligent life and how they do it is adequately explained for the uninformed. I felt like screaming out loud as revelation after revelation came about at the end. It's an excellent flick.

BlacKkKlansman
(2018)

A missed opportunity at greatness
This movie is needlessly flawed and so misses the mark at greatness in my opinion. The first several minutes has the disgusting and revolting Alec Baldwin spouting off some really disgusting clap trap. After his diatribe ended the movie then launched into a terrific pseudo documentary with excellent acting by all hands. The story was interesting, entertaining and fascinating.

Then at the end some needless news footage of events in Virginia was added on where some ignoramus knucklehead drove his car through a bunch of protesters blocking the street and killed some young woman. That was, in my opinion not needed and caused me to be disgusted as anyone should be. I would have cheerfully given this otherwise excellent film a 10 except for those two unnecessary clips. So I strongly recommend this otherwise terrific flick, just skip the first several minutes and the last several minutes. Someone should have edited that stuff out.

Wakefield
(2016)

interesting
Not a great movie but an OK movie. It kept my interest throughout. Unfortunately there's not enough Jennifer Garner which was my main reason for watching it. The entire movie is centered on Bryan Cranston and he, an excellent actor, keeps things interesting. Sadly the movie does not have satisfactory ending. I think they really dropped the ball there.

Driving with Selvi
(2015)

The fascinating story of a young woman in India, her trials, her tribulations and her triumphs.
This terrific long term documentary covers a few years in the life of a young woman in India. She's had a very rough go for her first 15 years but she's smart and determined. She can do anything she sets her mind to and she sets her sights high indeed. Ultimately we'll find out everything there is to know about her. It is a very well spent one hour and the documentarian is to be applauded for this excellent work.

No Questions Asked
(1951)

Pretty darn good film noir.
A black and white film noir that is most excellent. For a noir that doesn't have Bogart in it or any other notable actor this one delivers the goods. Best of all it has a delicious twist that you don't see coming and is quite surprising.

Barry Sullivan plays an insurance agent who gets what seems like a good idea to get rich. As with so many "good ideas" it doesn't take long for things to go sideways for him. He soon finds himself out of his depth. In keeping with the noir there's cops, gangsters, good girls and bad dames. If you like noir this tasty flick is for you.

Life
(2017)

Excellent monster!
Well...OK...it is somewhat similar to Alien however don't allow that to deter you from watching it. The actors were pretty much unknown, at least to me, except for Jake Gyllenhaal. Still they did an excellent job. The weightless special effects were spectacular. It looked as if it was actually shot on the space station.

The monster was very. very scary. It was of course all CGI but it was very, very realistic. It was also pretty original and a bit better than the creature from Alien. All in all it was worth watching for a SciFi fan.

Murder on the Orient Express
(2017)

Excellent!
It is excellent however the very best one of all the productions is without doubt David Suchet's Poirot and I've seen all the versions. While Michele Pfeiffer gives the bravura performance here I'm afraid she's no match for Jessica Chastain in the Suchet's version. Johnny Depp does an adequate job as the bad guy however Toby Jones does a far, far better job in Suchet's version. Here's a brief quote from these pages about Toby Jones: "one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native Great Britain and internationally". All in all the Suchet version of Murder on the Orient Express is substantially better in the acting department than this version. In the Suchet version the tension is held right up to the very end. You just don't how everything will pan out in the Suchet version until the last minute or two. This is still an excellent production but the Suchet version is far better in every single respect.

Petits meurtres en famille: Episode #1.4
(2006)
Episode 4, Season 1

This miniseries bears very little resemblance to Hercule Poirot's Christmas
There's a big house that's full of greedy people. They are, for the most part, completely amoral. In other words just about everyone is getting banged by at least two people. The house contains a very rich old man who is not in the best of health.It's a very complicated plot. You probably won't know who did it until the stunning conclusion. About the only resemblance to Hercule Poirot's Christmas is the murder. It's not even Christmas.

Star Wars: Rebels: Rebel Assault
(2017)
Episode 9, Season 4

The best episode yet
This episode has a terrific plot. It has a surplus of action. It's a desperate effort to remove the most serious threat the rebels have yet faced. All the characters we love and hate are involved. As I say above, it's the best episode yet and I've seen them all!

Le casse
(1971)

one of the best chase scenes you will ever see
This excellent thriller has a terrific international cast. The plot is pretty original.

SPOILER FOLLOWS

There is practically no dialog at all for the first several minutes of the film as the thieves use an amazing technology to access the safe. I found it quite riveting however the most amazing thing is the lengthy chase scene about one third into the movie. As the small cars are flying and careening around the hilly streets I was astonished to see dozens of gawkers watching the chase. In several scenes they had to leap out of the way. It was pretty amazing and not to be missed.

Alone Yet Not Alone
(2013)

Pretty good movie
First the good news. The sets and scenery are absolutely top notch. Much of it was shot outdoors in woodland areas, caves, waterfalls, etc. The exteriors and interiors of the cabins, fort etc. are quite realistic. It seems to be very authentic.

The story was excellent. It was fascinating and based on real events involving real people. I found it interesting and compelling from start to finish. The music was great.

Now for the not so good news. Unfortunately the acting was somewhat spotty. A few actors did a decent enough job however many, too many, appeared to be amateurs on their first job. The lead actress is, in my opinion, just way too beautiful.

Star Trek: Horizon
(2016)

Storyline OK, acting so so, video's quality is crap
It has a decent enough storyline. The writing isn't bad but not particularly inspiring. Frequently the audio is not very good. The actors occasionally mumble their lines. There are no subtitles so some dialogue is often missed.

However worst of all is the video. I have complained about this in another review of a Star Wars fan film. Apparently the folks who made this film believed that 10 million candlepower lights were necessary for the lighting. Many scenes are so contrasty that the video reverts to black and white with the white part akin to staring into an arc light.

Wonder Woman
(2009)

Certainly one of if not the greatest animation ever made
You probably know the basics of the story. The secluded island that is invisible to the outside world is inhabited by the greatest female warriors who ever walked the earth. They have removed themselves from the evil normal world. They are acquainted with many Greek gods. These gods and their offspring cause problems for the Amazons.

Then the unthinkable happens. Events occur beyond their power that require them to send a warrior to the outside world. The action is nonstop. The dead walk again. Monsters arise. The storyline is very strong and it is absolutely thrilling.

You never really know for sure how things will go. The entire thrilling movie is touch and from start to finish.

Tian jiang xiong shi
(2015)

magnificent awesome spectacular (Wanted all caps for this)
As you can tell from my summary, I liked this movie a lot. First of all, it has an excellent and unique storyline. It is based on historic factual events which just makes things even more interesting. In other words, its not just some Chinese fantasy tale.

The story is set in the desert on the silk road. The silk road was the road between Europe and China. Then along comes a legion of Roman Centurions. Of course battles ensue, friendships are created, people are betrayed, etc. There's enough good and evil to go around for everyone to enjoy.

Oh, and by the way, the fight sequences as well as the vast legions of armies running around the desert are truly awesome. For some reason I found myself thinking about "Lawrence of Arabia" while watching it.

Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo
(1932)

a complex character study
Many folks wouldn't think that a Japanese silent film from long ago in black and white with sparse subtitles would be much good. They would be wrong, very wrong. It's a interesting character study of two young brothers and the trials and tribulations they experience after moving to new area. The area they are now in is populated by a gang of young wanna be thugs.

Their dad is a businessman who always wears a suit to work. When the boys discover something completely unexpected about their dad they are devastated. The movie provides an endlessly fascinating look at suburban Japanese life complete with a loving mom, dad and two brothers from long, long ago. It is quite funny in places and is always interesting.

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