phantopp

IMDb member since July 2008
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    IMDb Member
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Reviews

Gojira X Mekagojira
(2002)

Needs a stronger plot, but not bad for a Godzilla movie
The government of Japan has created the ultimate weapon against "Godzilla" (Tsutomu Kitagawa), a cyborg built using advanced DNA technology, with the remains of the original "Godzilla" killed after its attack in 1954 (a reference to the original movie) found on the Pacific Ocean floor. The cyborg, called "Kiryu" (Hirofumi Ishigaki), had missiles, and a ray that froze whatever it struck.

Like most movies in the series, this one has strengths and weaknesses.

The special effects are pretty much a plus in this movie. Despite the movie being 11 years old now, the special effects have pretty much held up. Green screen effects don't stand out that bad for most of the time, but it does briefly a few times. The arsenal of "Kiryu" are pretty believable special effects, including the launching sequence of the "absolute zero" ray. "Godzilla" itself looks a lot bulkier than previous versions, but pretty realistic.

The score of the movie is pretty good, but not really memorable. It helped enhance the fight scenes pretty well, without overwhelming them.

One big problem with the story was, as usual for a "Godzilla" movie, the human cast plot lines. We get to see no more than motive to destroy the beast, but not much else when it comes to character development. Their interaction with each other is pretty good though, but their relationships aren't really expanded on.

"Godzilla" itself never really appeared as a threat to the Japanese population, which was nothing more than collateral damage. "Godzilla" was much more focused on his enemy, "Kiryu" than the people whose nuclear advancements created it. "Godzilla" basically ignored any part of Japan it stomped through. It also barely put up a fight against "Kiryu", and appeared fairly weak for the one with top billing.

Overall, this is not a great "Godzilla" film, but fans of the series will find it no more than acceptable. If you never seen one of the movies, don't start with this one.

Angels & Demons
(2009)

A good mystery movie
"Robert Langdon" (Tom Hanks) is back, and he has only a few hours to solve a mystery to save thousands of Catholic faithful, and top candidates for role of pope, before an incident which will kill them all as they await the announcement of who the new leader of the church will be.

Now, "Langdon", along with a woman who helped create antimatter in a lab, must figure out the clues and save the faithful of the world's largest church.

Let me say first that this is much better than the original movie, which I barely remember seeing. You really don't need to read the novel that the movie is based upon to enjoy it.

There are some really good performances in this film, especially from Hanks, who proved himself as a solid leading man many times. Here, he really shines as a leading man.

There is some serious problems with character development with supporting characters, especially "Dr. Vittoria Vetra" (Ayelet Zurer), whose antimatter is being used as a weapon, and "Camerlengo Patrick McKenna" (Ewan McGregor), who turns an interesting plot twist that I never expected at the end, but isn't seen as much as I would like.

Another problem with this movie is that it is obvious that they opted for green screen for many scenes depicting Roman Catholic churches within Rome's city limits (the church refused to allow the movie to be filmed at the locations since the church declared the book offensive to the church). A barely trained eye (which I have since I learned TV production back in high school) could see the actors were in front of a green screen. These effects will become noticeable to the untrained eye as the film ages, and special effects advance.

One thing this movie does pretty well is that it gives very little time for the audience to breathe between action and plot advancing scenes. You get excited as "Langdon" and "Vetra" get closer to the murderer(s) as they discover new clues.

Despite not being able to shoot on location, and the threat of a strike at the time, Ron Howard did a great job in the director's chair as usual. He was able to use interesting camera angles to help tell the story nicely.

I can't really say I noticed the soundtrack of the movie, since I barely pay attention to instrumentals since that's not my style I listen to. I do notice that it helped the scenes, and in this movie it did.

If you see this on any of the movie channels like HBO, or on Netflix, check this one out.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
(1969)

Disappointed in this classic
"Gorge Cassidy" (Paul Newman), a.k.a. "Butch Cassidy", and "Lonny Longbaugh" (Robert Redoford), a.k.a. "The Sundance Kid, are two of the greatest robbers in the history of the Old West. They pulled jobs on banks and trains with an expertise that made them famous from coast to coast.

Now, years after being out of the business for about two decades, they decide to pull one last bank heist in Bolivia, with the help of a school teacher (Katharine Ross) with romantic ties to both men.

I have to say that I am pretty disappointed in this film. I found it to be slow, with not enough action considering the topic of the movie. It dragged so much that I noticed spending more attention to my computer than watching the movie itself on cable television.

One thing that stood out was the on-screen relationship between Newman and Redford. This is what carries the movie I believe, and most likely why this movie is called a classic now. You feel as if the two are not just partners in crime, but friends with the ribbing that they give one another.

Another problem with this movie is the soundtrack. The only piece of music that is memorable is Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head by BJ Thomas, and that was a weird tune for a Western set in the Old West. If you ask me, the song was just an odd choice.

I also barely enjoyed Ross as "Etta Place". Her character was barely developed if you asked me. It appeared that she was there as a romantic interest, and to help teach "Butch" and "Sundance" Spanish for their attempt at robbing the Bolivian bank.

If you expect a lot of gunfights, you are mistaken on this one. Of what there is in the movie, they are short and well placed.

The cinematography is hard for me to judge since Encore Westerns used a pan-and-scan format. I had to deal with only half of a scene when two people were talking to one another. But, from wide shots, I could see some spectacular scenery, including the famous scene when the title characters jump from a cliff into the water.

Because it was declared a classic, I've been wanting to see this movie. I am highly disappointed in it.

Cobra
(1986)

Somewhat weak plot and action. But pretty good
This movie is fairly good, but is pretty toned down after the scene that "Cobretti" is introduced in. There is some good action scenes though, but they are spaced out from each other to give the audience a pretty good breather. However, these scenes between the action failed at giving the characters some character development.

I was not sure if "Gonzales" (Santoni) was "Cobretti's" partner before "Cobretti" was called in to protect the witness or not. It was pretty obvious that they respected each other more than "Cobretti" respected others on the force who always confronted him on his ways in doing his job, especially one vocal one in particular. There was also very little character development with the villains, who the police believe is only one person due to one using a very distinct weapon to slash victims.

One character that should have been developed more, not to mentioned had a bigger role than she did, was the mole. This character had the least amount of lines, and never interacted with the witness, "Cobretti" or "Gonzales" after being assigned to help protect the witness. I would have liked to have seen this character more developed, and attempting to steer the others away from her as a suspect when "Cobretti" figured out there is a mole in the department.

The action scenes are pretty well done. With only two that are real graphic in comparison with the others. We get a good car chase, with gun play on the highway, the lead villain visiting the witness in the hospital with intent to kill her, and a final confrontation between the villain and "Cobretti" near the end of the film. That final scene between our hero and the villain is the only time the two have any interaction since the general public is unaware of "Cobretti" protecting the witness. I would have liked to have seen some scenes where they meet eye-to-eye, with the villain having a "cat me if you can" attitude before escaping.

The acting is surprisingly good in this movie. Stallone portrayed his character as a jerk only when needed, and allowed his softer side to show. I liked the interaction between "Cobretti" and "Gonzales", who would tease each other as if they knew one another for awhile. The interaction between Stallone and Nielsen, who married some time after this film, was also good, but not great thanks to the script not being that great.

I personally would have liked to have seen more of a love subplot between "Cobretti" and the witness. You didn't really seeing them glancing at each other until the two ended up in bed before the climatic final battle. I also would have liked to seen more from the villains and supporting cast that worked with "Cobretti" and "Gonzales".

The motive for the killings are never investigated by "Cobretti" or "Gonzales". In fact, I don't think any of those involved in the investigation came up with a probable motive that was proved pretty much wrong by one of the lead characters as their investigation slowly lead them to the villains. It takes the lead villain's dialog in his final confrontation with "Cobretti" to explain their motive. Not once is the audience given even a hit as to the motive for the killings anywhere in the movie.

One thing that sticks out is product placement. I have no problem with product placement, but they made it pretty obvious when you see the Coca-Cola and Pepsi logos all over the place, or when a character is drinking a beer or soda with the logo facing the camera. You even had "Cobretti" turning on a TV in his apartment just as a Toys 'R' Us Christmas commercial is starting as if the TV was programed to play it as the set switched on. Good product placement should make it less obvious than this movie made them. Heck, even products that were in the grocery store at the beginning of the movie happened to fall to the floor with logos facing the camera.

Another thing that is seen a lot of is the cliché of the hero spouting one-liners. Stallone had some good one-liners through the entire movie, but none have gone down as memorable lines in movie history.

With some good performances from the main cast, this movie is pretty watchable. I would not put it on your Must See List though. If you like good action films, this one should go on your To See List, but don't put it high on your list considering action scenes are spaced out a bit too much if you ask me. The movie gave too much of a breather for the audience between action scenes in my opinion.

I would have to give this movie a B-minus overall. Catch it on TV, or the On Demand section of your local cable company. I personally watched it on my cable company's website, which has movies and TV shows much like Hulu does.

Robin Hood
(2010)

Movie trailers were misleading
From what I saw in the trailers for this film, I was expecting a fast-paced action flick. Sadly, the movie is far from it.

Following the death of "King Richard the Lionhearted" (Danny Huston) during the Crusades, "Robin Longstride" (Russell Crowe) and four men come upon the aftermath of an ambush, and find a dying British knight who tells "Longstride" of a plot between France and a British collaborator -- a British knight.

"Longstride" promises the dying knight that he will return the knight's sword to his father. But, when he returns to his homeland, he poses as the knight, and helps those in need.

Based on centuries old legends from Great Britian, Robin Hood is far from the typical depictions we have seen over the years in popular media. In other depictions, including a popular BBC television series in 2006, "Hood" is either arriving from his journey home from the Holy Land or he has been back for some time, and already declared an outlaw. This movie is focused more on the events leading to the title character becoming the legendary "Robin Hood". But, unlike other depictions I've seen, this one is not a strong representation of the legendary outlaw.

The first 75% of the film is unbearably slow I thought, and I noticed I was paying more attention to my computer (I watched it on HBO this afternoon) than the television. To me, the scenes between any fight scenes just lagged and had poor development for the characters.

It appears that those behind the scenes relied on the audience already knowing the characters, and gave them little to no development. They introduced some new twists with the characters, which worked fairly well, but they were just not presented in an interesting way I thought.

I felt little to no chemistry between the characters, especially between "Marion" (Cate Blanchett) and "Longstride". All the main players are there, but they were one-dimensional in my opinion. None of them stood out.

One thing I noticed is that non-British actors had a terrible time with the British accent. Sometimes they sounded British, while other times, their accents sounded Irish or even Scottish. It was very obvious that the dialect coach hired to help the non-British cast members failed in his or her job. It got quite confusing at times when I heard the wrong accent.

Probably because they were working with a well known story, the movie is pretty predictable. The actors in this movie failed at attempting to make their lines believable, which didn't get them out of the one-dimensional feel I was getting from them. The worse of the characters had to be "King John" (Oscar Isaac), who was absolutely horrible. Isaac's performance was uneven, and came off as trying to be comical when he most likely wasn't trying to be that way.

Cinematorgraphy wasn't that great either, but was slightly better during wide angle scenes during battles. There were no bright colors in the scenery, nor wardrobe. It was a pretty bland looking movie, which went along with the bland performances.

One thing you need to know is that this movie is fairly violent. I would not suggest this for a young audience that the Disney version of this story targets. You will see a lot of gruesome wounds like an arrow through a hand or chest. It looked as if they did a fair job at focusing at main cast members in close-up shots during large battles, but those close-ups were rushed and just did not work out if you ask me.

If you are a fan of the legend, this is going to disappoint you. If you are new to the legend, I would suggest the superior BBC television series that ended about a year before this movie came out, and all three seasons of that version would be a better addition to your Netflix queue or your personal DVD/Blu-Ray collection. The BBC series has more interesting depictions of the main cast of characters, and is more family-friendly.

Oh, God!
(1977)

A sweet movie
"Jerry Landers" (John Denver) is a family man with a steady job at a grocery store. One day, he gets a weird letter telling him to go to a building for a meeting with "God" (George Burns in one of his most famous roles). "God" asks him to get His message out to the world.

"Landers", who is skeptical of the kindly old man who asks for his help, and a non-believer in God, tries to get out the message by any means. He eventually gets on national television, and in front of a panel of religious leaders, who ask him to have "God" answer a list of questions, written in an ancient and extinct language.

Now, "Landers" has to prove to the court of the existence of "God", while trying to defend himself in a slander suit filed against him by a televangelist over comments "Landers" credits to "God", who claims the televangelist is a fraud.

Let me say that, when I first saw this, I thought it was funnier. Having seen it all these years later, the jokes fell flat in my opinion. However, I was not once offended by any joke in the film. The humor targets a lot of questions believers and non-believers of the Almighty ask when questioning their beliefs, but not once is offensive. If you ask me now, the jokes are worth a couple of chuckles.

For anybody who is a hardcore believer, who will walk up to a stranger to give his or her testimony and try to convert the person, I can guarantee you that you will not be offended with this movie at all. The subject matter is handled with extreme care, and is handled perfectly by Denver, and especially Burns.

The performances in this movie are pretty good if you ask me. Terri Garr, who portrays Denver's wife, plays her character as a woman who is skeptical of her husband's believe that he was visited by God, but supports him no matter what. Denver was pretty good in his role, never missing a beat as Burns straight man, and handled his character's transformation in the film nicely.

Burns though is easily the star of this film, and made "God" one of his most memorable roles in his career. Anybody who has seen this movie, or its two sequels have never forgotten Burns in this role. To his fans, this and his role with the love of his life, Gracie Allen, is fondly remembered.

This film is perfect for families, as their is no violence or swearing. Younger children may not understand the message of the film, but might enjoy some of the jokes. Older kids will understand the message, and may have questions about their own faith.

The supporting cast is not well developed in this film, especially the televangelist, who was the most vocal in the counsel that asked "Landers" to have "God" answer the questions they gave him. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the televangelist go to his flock and the media to try to discredit "Landers" in his believe he saw "God". Just having "God" tell "Landers" to call the guy a fraud to help set up the court scene was a bit weak in my opinion.

There is some special effects in this film, but you can tell they were all done by editing. They just don't hold up after all these years. The soundtrack was completely forgettable as well.

In my opinion, this movie is not bad. I would suggest to watch it on television if there is nothing else on.

Winds of the Wasteland
(1936)

A pretty good, but short, Wayne movie
An end of the era is coming. The Pony Express is nearing an end as the telegraph line is about to be put up, making the way the mail was delivered for years obsolete.

Two Pony Express riders (John Wayne, Lane Chandler) decide to go into the stagecoach business, with the Pony Express horses that were given to them and other riders as a gift of thanks for their service. The two ask the owner of the local stagecoach service (Douglas Cosgrove) if they could purchase one of his older stagecoaches. However, he offers them their own franchise to a city almost an hour away, Crescent City.

The two travel to the small city, only to realize they were tricked. Turns out that the city is rundown, and has only two residents.

"John Blair" (Wayne) decides it's not worth accepting the offer for the franchise, but the mayor of the city (Lew Kelly), who has a lot of other jobs in the city, informs him that the United States government is offering a contract to deliver the mail in the area via stage coach. As long as they win a race with other stage coach services in the area.

At one point, "Blair" comes across the team putting up the telegraph wires for the area, and gets them to agree to bring the telegraph to Crescent City, and a much needed boost to the population.

Word gets to "Cal Drake" (Cosgrove), who makes plans to sabotage the Crescent City line's chances in winning that contract.

Now, "Blair" has to win the contract -- and try to keep the new residence of Crescent City there.

The first problem with this movie is the length. It's almost 56 minutes long, and doesn't feel like a movie at all. However, it's got some pretty good performances that make it interesting enough to keep your attention.

I can't remember how many early Wayne movies I've seen lately, but, as with all the previous ones, I think Wayne has the strongest performance in the film. The others are pretty memorable as well, with Phyllis Fraser with the weakest performance as the daughter of one of the original two Crescent City residents.

One of the biggest problems this movie has, most likely due to the length of it, is character development. Many supporting characters had very little development. You get to meet them, and how they play in the story, but not much more. The movie basically focuses on Wayne's character, which doesn't give the supporting cast any screen time to advance any subplots they are a part of.

One of those subplots that was completely missed was the romantic subplot between "Barbara Forsythe" (Fraser) and both of the lead actors. There is no story that describes how she appears to go after one of them, but ends up with the other.

The soundtrack to the movie sounded to me like a early TV Western. Nothing when it came to music stood out at all. Even the music during the only fist fight in the entire film was pretty bad. This soundtrack will not go down as one of the greatest scores in movie history.

Due to the time this film was made, the special effects are not done by a computer, and are, at best, OK. In scenes where the two characters are riding on the stagecoach, it is obvious that they are in front of a movie screen. But, this simplistic effect works real well.

The movie is mainly shot outdoors. But, none of the scenes are memorable. There are a few horse chases, and the stage coach race that are shot fairly nicely. And the shots during the race where they go from the race to close-ups on stagecoach mock ups in front of a movie screen are edited together smoothly.

Despite the flaws of this movie, this is not a bad movie. I would not put it in your must-see list, but you should check it out if you see it on Encore Westerns, and there is nothing better to do. In fact, it's currently on Hulu right now, which is how I watched it.

I would also check it out if you are a fan of John Wayne. It will show you that he was destined for his legendary status in Hollywood.

The Beast with a Million Eyes
(1955)

Typically bad B movie
A strange thing has flown over the home of a family somewhere in a desert area. As it flew over, it made an unusual whine, and shook the ground and buildings as it passed. The family is already under a lot of stress due to the situation with the crop, and it has put a strain on everybody.

Shortly after the thing flew over the property, the animals, domestic and wild alike, begin to exhibit strange behavior which includes attacking the people near them. Eventually, it is learned that the strange behavior comes from a small space craft of unknown origin. Whatever, or whoever, is inside eventually begins to control the humans which it comes in contact with.

Let me say first, this movie is horrible. As I watched it, it began to appear that the title was very misleading. However, after some online research, I learned that the title refers to the alien force's (voiced by Bruce Whitmore) ability to see through the beings it possesses. This ability is not very clear, especially when we see the creature in the last minutes of the movie.

The acting is not great in this one, and is pretty much forgettable. Out of the entire, extremely tiny cast of six people (on-screen), I would have to say Paul Birch, who plays the father/husband who eventually figures out something to defeat the creature, has the strongest performance of the entire cast. However, that's not saying much due to this being a typical B movie with an extremely weak script.

This movie is suppose to be a sci-fi/horror. It does have a touch of science-fiction, but the horror is more laughable than scary. The first wave of the alien creature's attack is through the local domesticated and wild animals. You have the family dog apparently trying to kill the wife/mother (Lorna Thayer) at one point, but it is obvious that the dog is just running around enjoying itself. Not once did it look menacing. Another point, she is attacked by the chickens in the coop on the property, and this is easily the most laughable attack of them all since it's pretty obvious the chickens are being thrown at her from people off-camera.

This is a low-budget movie, and it painfully shows when it comes to the special effects. The alien, which is seen briefly at the movie's climax, is obviously a rubber figurine. At one point, as the creature is revealed, it is covered by an eye ball obviously added in post production. The most annoying effect though has to be what is suppose to be the space craft's engine. I actually had to turn down my computer's volume because of it. The noise was not comfortable to my ears.

The only reason to see this movie is its message of love. You might roll your eyes a bit when the message is revealed in the climax of the movie with the way it is related to the situation, but it is still a good message.

If you like these kind of films, check it out. You probably would enjoy it more than others. If you expect some great scares, then avoid this one since they aren't there. This is not a great movie at all.

Angel and the Badman
(1947)

Pretty good, but can be slow
A wounded "Quirt Evans" (John Wayne) is injured even more as his horse collapses near the house of a Quaker family, who take him in and treat him.

He catches the eye of the daughter in the family (Gail Russell), and he is obviously attracted to her. But, he just can't shake his past as outlaws and the law alike try to get them for whatever reason.

Now he has to look at himself and try to figure out what to do with his life.

I have been watching a lot of movies starring John Wayne lately on Hulu, and this is easily the longest one so far. It is also one of the best ones on the site.

For the first time in his career, Wayne is pulling double duty in this film. First, he is the leading man, as well as a first-time producer. Since I have no clue as to a producer's job, all I can do is judge him on his performance in front of the camera. And I have to say he does a pretty good job.

What makes this Western unique is that it focuses on the personal conflict of "Evans," while throwing everything familiar to Westerns in. The focus is on "Evan's" personal struggle more than the typical plot of a Western.

Violence in this movie is fairly tame in this movie, even by the standards of the time of its release. You get some shooting, and one fist fight (which mostly remains off-screen), and one attack from behind with an object from their surroundings. The violence is tame most likely because of the morality of the plot.

I was not impressed with the romance subplot. Actually, not the way it was handled. I found it to be pretty weak, and not given the screen time it should have had. I think that the two involved were rushed in the storyline, and not given time to develop the on-screen relationship.

I was also not impressed with the chemistry between Wayne and Russell. They had some chemistry together, but nothing impressive. In fact, I wasn't impressed with much of the chemistry between many cast members.

I did not like many of the supporting cast, many of which didn't have time to develop. The child actor in this movie was pretty annoying, and seemed to be there just to throw out some complaints as some poor comic relief that, for me, didn't even produce a chuckle.

Unlike other recent movies I've watched starring Wayne, I didn't hear any problems with audio. I did have a problem with the picture going fuzzy at times. It appears that Hulu got a bad print to upload. Also, unlike the other movies I've seen in the last couple of weeks, it appeared there was more music in the film. I didn't find any of the music helping in enhancing scenes, and can't remember any particular piece of music except a song being performed on stage in a bar scene.

Parents need not worry about the violence in this film. It's pretty mild. You can watch this movie with no problem. In fact, parents will like the moral of this story.

Paradise Canyon
(1935)

One of the better Wayne movies I've seen recently
A government agent (John Wayne) goes undercover as part of a traveling medicine show to stop a counterfeiting operation. For awhile, he believes the head of the show, "Doc Carter" (Earl Hodgins), is the head of the operation. His belief is backed up with the fact that "Carter" spent the last decade in jail.

Now, he has to go after the real criminals into Mexico and bring them to justice.

I have seen some John Wayne movies via Hulu in the last couple of weeks, and this is easily one of the better ones the site currently has.

The acting in this movie is very decent, and pretty believable all around. Not one performance was weak in fact. You had good chemistry between the main players, and none of them looked as if they were just there to get paid.

Wayne stands out as the leading man in this film. His presence is one of the strongest in the film. This was his last movie for Monogram Pictures, and it's a very good send-off for "The Duke." As for other performers, they all did pretty good performances for the amount of screen time they had.

Some of the supporting cast were poorly written in this movie. There are two members of the traveling medicine show who basically were there to perform a couple of songs, and deliver a few lines. They were there mostly for show, and not much else.

There is quite a few action scenes in this movie, but nothing too spectacular. You get one horse chase, and some gunfighting, but nothing memorable.

One thing that limits this movie is the length of it. This makes some subplots rushed. There is a taste of a romance between Wayne and Marion Burns, who plays "Carter's" daughter and performer in the medicine show. It didn't have time to blossom because the main plot had to be advanced.

When the story moves over the border into Mexico, I felt the characters introduced at that point were not used well. They added little, if anything, to the plot.

One big problem was the audio. Due to the movie being 75 years old, the audio just didn't hold up. The audio makes it hard to understand what is being said at times. At some points, the people were pretty muffled for a few seconds. You could understand what was being said, but you had to strain to hear what they were saying.

I would say that this could be something to watch if you can catch it online on sites like Hulu, or on television. Only rent the movie if you are a die-hard John Wayne fan.

Jakob the Liar
(1999)

Good story of hope
"Jakob" (Robin Williams) is a Jew living in a Nazi-occupied Polish ghetto where the residents have lost all hope. One night, he is ordered to report to the officer in charge after being caught outside, allegedly after curfew. While he was in the office, waiting to be reprimanded, he overhears a radio report about the advancing Russian troops.

When he returns to the neighborhood, he informs his friends what he had heard. However, as the news spread, his story transformed into something else. People began to believe he had a radio hidden in his home as his story began traveling through the grapevine.

This is simply a story of hope for those oppressed such as the Jews during the Nazi occupation so many decades ago. And it is done very well.

Let me say that this movie is not a happy story. Even the ending is shadowed by sadness, though it does have a touch of happiness.

Williams is very good in this film. He made his character compassionate to those in his neighborhood. As he told the stories, which were just stories to keep the Jews hopes up, you began to believe them just as much as those forced into the same situation as he was in the story. He was very believable as he told his fictional news.

In fact, there were many good performances from the rest of the cast. You could actually feel the emotion from the entire cast. It was one of the most believable performances from an entire cast that I've seen in a long time.

One thing you will notice is the lack of light, and color. You get lots of gray, black and white in clothing, as well as the walls (interior and exterior). This helps set the mood perfectly if you ask me. The only time I can recall any color was a shot of the Nazi flag.

There is also a lack of happy music in the film. There is one scene between Williams and the young girl (Hannah Taylor Gordon) that is short, but it is a happy scene with fun music.

Wardrobes are very accurate in this film. The Jews clothing look worn, and very dirty. They look as if they didn't wash their clothing in some time. The Nazi uniforms are also quite accurate in their appearance.

The violence is fairly mild in this film. There is a little blood, far less than you would expect. The Nazi soldiers use machine guns against the Jews, but there is little to no blood splatter as they are apparently struck.

There is also little to no action. Many of the scenes drag on, but many drag at an appropriate pace that works well.

To parents, I would suggest that you avoid this one if you have young children. If you have kids who are able to understand the plot, then watch it with them.

The Lawless Frontier
(1934)

Not one of "The Duke's" best
"John Tobin" (John Wayne) is on the hunt of the killer of his father (Earl Dwire), who kidnaps a young woman (Sheila Terry). Now, John has to save the young woman, while trying to prove he is not a member of the outlaw's gang to the bumbling sheriff, who also accuses him for killing the girl's father.

This is one of the worst 1930's movies I've seen. I spent more time looking away from my computer screen than watching the actual movie.

The first problem is the length of the film. It completely rushed the story, which was hard to follow at times. It also gave no chance of the characters to develop.

Everybody in the cast seemed to have been forced together, and did not get the chance to develop any chemistry.

A good chunk of this movie deals with "Tobin" chasing the villain. In fact, a good chunk of the entire 50 minutes was a horse chase. The villain was horrible, and I did not feel any hate toward him. I didn't even believe his accent.

Surprisingly, Wayne was not good in this movie. I believe this was early in his career, and it showed. He was not leading man material in this one. He didn't even have chemistry with any of the other performers.

Due to the age of this film, the audio was not great. It made the dialog nearly impossible to hear at times. There were times that you couldn't understand anything that was said. You also had the source of the sound go to almost a whisper as it moved away from the microphone.

If you are a John Wayne fan, check this out if you see it on the Westerns channel, but only if there is nothing else on.

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann
(1982)

Only fairly good
Star motorcycle racer, "Lyle Swan" (Fred Ward) goes missing as he is in the middle to a race. At least that's what his friends think. In reality, he stumbles upon a secret government time travel experiment, and is sent to the late 1800's.

While in the past, he comes across a band of outlaws, who become obsessed with his "machine." He also meets the residents of a small town, who believe him to be the devil, as well as a woman (Belinda Bauer) and the local padre (Ed Lauter).

The entire time, "Swan" is unaware that he is in the past. He eventually falls for the woman, and desperately tries to get away from the villains.

There are some problems with the movie. First of all, this movie gave no time to the romantic subplot. It was like they met, and jumped into bed as soon as possible. There was no development into the storyline at all.

Another problem is that the movie didn't spend enough time in the present to show the search for the racer. You got a couple of scenes where the friend tries to contact "Swan" over a CB radio, and that's it.

I could not connect with any of the characters. "Swan" seemed to settle into his situation a little too easily if you ask me. I also didn't like that he never really realized that he was in the past. Not once did you see anything that would hint at it until he found something with the date on it.

There are some fairly good performances in this movie. There are also some lackluster ones as well. Ward and Baur were easily the best, although their romantic subplot seriously lacked. On a romantic level, the chemistry between the two was just not there. I also think that the outlaws were not evil enough. You just could not hate them There was some fairly good action in this movie. It wasn't perfect though. You got a lot of chases, especially when "Swan" came across the outlaws for the first time. You also get some gunfights, but nothing spectacular.

Music for this movie was written by Michael Nesbith, best known as a member of the 1960's band, The Monkees. The music he composed certainly had an 1980's feel to it. The music was not memorable though, and did not sound like anything the Monkees would have done.

The only thing when it comes to wardrobe is the protective suit worn by "Swan." Because it's an all-red, leather outfit surrounded by 1870's costumes. Other than that, nothing stands out.

Overall, it's not a bad movie. It is good enough for a time-waster. Just don't expect a blockbuster motion picture.

West of the Divide
(1934)

John Wayne fans may like it more than others
"Ted Hayden" (John Wayne) joins an outlaw gang under the guise of a man he found dying to find the one or ones responsible for his father's death. Only to discover the gang leader's is the one responsible, but love and previously unknown family.

This is not a bad movie, but may not be for all. First of all, there are a lot of audio problems throughout the film, which is fairly short by today's standards. There are times that you have to strain to hear some performers with weaker voices. I noticed, in a scene at the end of the film, a sound from the microphone when they switched to close-ups of the actors in scene possibly due to changes in the audio.

John Wayne is possibly the best performer in this film. He is easily the easiest for the audience to connect with. His sidekick (George "Gabby" Hayes) is, in my opinion, completely forgettable only due to not being on screen much. I also found Virginia Brown Faire, who played Wayne's love interest, to be pretty poor in her performance. I just could not believe her as she said many of her lines.

A big problem with this movie is that, due to the short length of the movie (under an hour), there was just not enough time to develop the characters or any subplot. If you ask me, the romantic subplot was really rushed. There was just no time to expand any of the main plot as well.

The chemistry between performers was pretty good. I would have liked to have seen more between Wayne and Hayes, as well as Wayne and the young boy who Wayne's character befriends. Due to Faire's lackluster performance, it was hard to believe the relationship between her and Wayne at times.

Like the audio, the sound effects were pretty bad. There were more fist fights than gun fights in this movie. While you could hear gun shots in this film, it was nearly impossible to hear punches "connect." You have to really strain to hear the smack of the punches apparently connecting during fights, especially when they were fairly distant from the microphone on set.

As for wardrobes, they were all pretty nice. However, none of the clothing appeared to have been worn for some time by the people, it looked pretty much new. All the clothing looked really nice though, and fit the classic Old West stereotype created by Hollywood.

There was absolutely no music in this film. Music could have helped enhance the mood of some scenes, but because the movie was from the early days of Hollywood, it wasn't needed.

There is an extremely little amount of violence in this movie. Due to the time it was made, there is absolutely no blood. The most violent thing in the entire film is a fist fight. Parents, young children could watch this without you worrying about an excessive amount of blood.

This movie wasn't bad, but it's far from perfect. Fans of "The Duke" will probably like this a lot more than others. However, his fans will most likely enjoy it more.

The Missouri Breaks
(1976)

Pretty good for a Western, but not great
A group of outlaws, lead by "Tom Logan" (Jack Nicholson), settles into a Missouri ranch to hideout from the law. However, a powerful rancher hires a man (Marlon Brando) to run them out.

The "regulator" (Brando) wipes out the entire band of outlaws, but "Tom," who decides to go straight in his pursuit of a local woman (Kathleen Lloyd).

Now, the two are heading to a face-off that may be each other's last day on Earth.

This is not the best movie I've seen. In fact, I noticed myself looking away from my computer screen (I watched it on Hulu) many times.

I found the characters poorly written, although they were pretty well performed by the actors. They were all pretty one-dimensional, and they just didn't seem to connect with each other.

The relationships between the characters just didn't work. I could not feel anything in the romantic subplot at all. In fact, I couldn't feel any chemistry between Nicholson and Lloyd at all.

There was a little chemistry between Nicholson and Brando. But, because of the poor writing, they really had little to work with for their on-screen relationship.

Surprisingly, the gunplay was minimal. Even when you expected a good amount of shooting, it wasn't there. There is some violence, though it's fairly mild. In the first minute of the movie, there is a fairly graphic hanging that was probably placed that early in the film for shock value.

The scenery was used pretty well in this movie. It certainly wasn't overplayed. There were some scenes where the scenery was used quite well with camera angles and such.

John Williams did, in my opinion, a poor job in writing the music for this film. To me, the music was more modern instrumental work, and just didn't work. In fact, despite being composed by a Hollywood legend like Williams, the soundtrack is completely forgettable.

Wardrobe appeared to be authentic in this film, except the outfit Brando wore through much of the film. His outfit was a little over-the-top, but not too much to be distracting.

I would have to say that if you find it online on sites like Hulu, check it out if you have nothing better to do. Other than that, don't waste your money.

The First Great Train Robbery
(1978)

A slow, well acted movie
Based on the movie's director Michael Criton's book about the real life events surrounding the world's first train robbery on May 15, 1855, where thousands of dollars worth of gold was stolen.

"Edward Pierce" (Sean Connery), along with his sidekick, "Robert Agar" (Donald Sutherland) and "Pierce's" lover (Lesley-Ann Down), plan to heist a moving train of gold meant to finance a war. First, the three must gain four keys, which have been separated for safety.

Now, the three have to get the keys, and get on board the moving train to get their prize.

The first thing you'll notice is the costumes worn by everybody on screen. They appear to be quite accurate, and some outfits appear to be thick and heavy. The outfits also appeared to me to be brand new on everybody. Not one outfit had that worn look.

The performances from the main cast is pretty good, as is the chemistry between the cast members. Connery is near perfect as the lead scoundrel who charms every one who comes across him, not knowing his true intentions. Sutherland is fairly laid back in his role, and can come across as boring at times.

The pace of the movie is real slow and deliberate. For many, it might be a bit too slow. I found it to be a nice, steady pace. It only picked up a little bit when the heist goes down.

If you are looking for a lot of action, there really isn't much in this film. The action kicks in a bit as the heist goes down, and you are rooting for the villains in this film.

Overall, this is not a bad movie. However, I wouldn't go out and rent it. Check it out if you come across it on television, or on Hulu.com.

Valdez il mezzosangue
(1973)

Kinda boring
A horse trainer (the late Charles Bronson) lives with a runaway just outside an Old West town where he has a rough reputation.

His rough exterior is challenged when a woman (Bronson's real life late wife, Jill Ireland) comes into his life.

From what I remember of Bronson's movies, there is always a good amount of violence. There is barely any in here. There is at least one fist fight, which lasts seconds, and not much gun play.

The pace of the movie is painfully slow and deliberate. Sometimes the action on the screen was so slow, my eyes began to wander away from the screen. I found myself getting bored frequently.

This was not one of the best acted movies I've seen lately. I did not feel chemistry between most of the cast. I did feel some between the boy and Bronson.

The story was choppy at best. In fact, it was so weak that it hurt the storyline. The supporting cast was there to slightly advance Bronson's background story, and that's mostly it.

The music was purely Country and Western, and not memorable at all in this movie. I couldn't even recognize any singer on the soundtrack.

Some of the scenery was pretty good. However, there were no spectacular shots. In fact, the scenery was kind of boring. The town, and the horse trainer's property was placed in a sandy area without any color. Wardrobes were just as boring.

This one you can pass on.

Pisutoru opera
(2001)

Horrible, unless you are part of the target audience
This is easily the worst, most confusing movie I've seen in quite some time.

"Miyuki Minazuki" (Makiko Esumi), known professionally as "Stray Cat", is part of the Assassin's Guild, and ranked #3 in it.

She is given the job to kill the top assassin in the guild, known as "Hundred Eyes", and takes it.

This movie is very hard to follow, especially if you must use subtitles if you can't find a dubbed version.

The acting is horrible. Many times, the actors are overly dramatic, and act as if they should be on stage. There is a lot of rambling monologues that are quite confusing. None of the actors had any chemistry and appeared to be forced to work together on screen.

As for the camera work, it's not perfect. There are some shots with pans that are too dramatic and make no sense. Other shots are real good, and help with the story on a visual level.

For the subject of the story, there is very little violence and no blood in this movie. There is even little gun play in the film. Violence is kept to a minimum as well.

The soundtrack is forgettable. It reminded me of music heard in movies from the 1970's. I didn't feel that the music helped enhance the scenes at all.

There are some interesting visuals in this movie. At times I felt as if I was watching a stage play. A few times, the camera work helped enhance the scenes, but most of the time the shots were real typical.

This movie lacked the ability to keep my attention through out. I caught myself looking away from my computer screen numerous times because I was completely bored with the movie. I watched this movie on Hulu, and got even more confused when my screen saver popped up.

It was a hard movie to follow, especially since I had to read English subtitles. I really had a hard time following what was going on in this movie because my attention was focused on the bottom of the screen. It may have been the translation, but the dialog was pretty confusing at times, and I couldn't understand what was going on.

Unless you are into this type of movie, I have to say skip it. It isn't for every one.

Of Mice and Men
(1992)

Might be better if you read the book
Two men, one mentally disabled (John Malkovich), the other (Gary Sinise, who also directed the movie) who swears to take care of the simple, but physically powerful man.

The two begin working on a farm, where "Lenny" (Malkovich) struggles to behave, as well as to try to remember that he has to be gentle as to not hurt anybody or anything since he is more physically gifted than mentally. All the while, "George" (Sinise) tries to put himself between "Lenny" and those around him to protect his traveling companion.

Based on the John Steinbeck book, of which I did not read, this is actually a pretty good movie with some pretty strong performances.

In fact, the performances are the only reason to watch this movie. The entire cast is near perfect. Malkovich and Sinise has pretty good chemistry as the two lead characters. Personally, I liked Sinise better than Malkovich, neither of which are my favorite actors.

There are also some strong performances from various members of the supporting cast. However, it appears that many of them were not given a lot to work with.

If you have not read the book, you may not think that the supporting cast was given much. I didn't think so either since I've never read the book. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a few of the supporting characters more.

There is some good chemistry with this cast, some better than others. You can really see where the chemistry was best by the scenes with the strongest performances.

The soundtrack is completely lacking in this film. In fact, I think I remember only one piece of music near the end of this film. And it sounded like they turned the volume down on that little piece of music that is completely forgettable.

The wardrobes, and other period pieces seen in this film, looks very authentic. It didn't appear that they tried to make it look like period clothing, it looked pretty authentic. They even went as far as making the clothing look like they were worn for some time, with little washing.

There is no spectacular camera work in this film. There are a couple of foot chases in here with some quick editing. The lighting is used well, and the angles are done nicely. There's just nothing memorable in any of the shots.

If you are looking for action, there isn't any worth looking for. This is pure drama, with no explosions or gun play.

Maybe because I never read the book, I kept looking away from my computer screen (I watched it on Hulu) because I was getting bored. If you haven't read the book, the only reason to see this is for the performances.

There is no reason to see this movie except for the performances. In fact, I didn't even know it existed until it came up on my Hulu recommendations list. I am more familiar with the Lon Chaney, Jr./Bergess Merrideth version. This movie is only worth seeing once.

I do suggest that you read the book so you know what is going on. In fact, you may like it better if you familiarize yourself with the source material first.

Saints and Soldiers
(2003)

Not your typical war movie
Survivors of a military massacre during World War II are in the worse case scenario; no rations, behind enemy lines, exhausted and starved.

The four (Corbin Allred, Peter Asle Holden, Larry Bagby and Alexander Polinsky) come close to being captured many times while trying to get into allied territory. They finally arrive at a home where the owner lets them have some refuge, after coming across a British soldier (Kirby Hayborne). She also allows a German soldier, who happened to have met one of the Americans before the war.

Now the soldiers, one of which is carrying vital information, have to get back to allied territory or die.

This is not your typical war movie. Mostly because the story focuses on the relationships between the soldiers. There are battle scenes in this movie, but they're spread out through out the movie.

The battle scenes are pretty authentic. Loud, with lots of action. The blood shed is fairly tame, and there's nothing gory. One of the main characters is a medic, and has to deal with some bad wounds. However, the wounds are not graphic.

The strongest aspect of this movie is the performances of the main cast. The main cast is simply fantastic. You actually feel as if you are looking at people who have bonded after a long time, under intense circumstances. Their on-screen chemistry is one of the best I've seen recently. I can't say that one of the actors stood out from the rest, only because they are all great in their roles. Not one of them were unbelievable.

The clothing was very authentic looking. In fact, the clothing, as well as weaponry and vehicles were provided by WWII collectors. Also, re-en-actors were used in many battle scenes.

Music in this movie is used nicely. Many musical pieces are used nicely to enhance the scene. I can't remember any musical pieces though.

Some people may have a problem with the cast being a group of unknowns. This movie is a low-budget independent film, so a big name star was unattainable. However, this cast is fantastic in this film, and you quickly forget that you don't know these actors.

I would suggest that parents not allow younger children see this movie. There is some violence, and one character is suffering from battle fatigue which kids may not comprehend. There is no swearing in this film, with the exception of an era racial slur against Germans.

I watched this movie over on Hulu, where you could check it out on as well. However, if your connection is too slow to stream video, and happen across this film, check it out -- if your first couple of choices are not available. I wouldn't Netflix this, only because of the wait if you already have a long list for the company to choose from.

The Secret of NIMH
(1982)

The secret is -- it's only a fairly good movie
A widowed field mouse (voiced by the late Elizabeth Hartman) has a sick child (voiced by Ian Fried) and two other children. They live in the garden of a farm where other animals live and feed.

They all need to move when it comes time for the farmer (voiced by Tom Hatten) begins to plow the field to prepare it for gardening. However, due to the sick child, "Mrs. Brisby" (Hartman) is reluctant to move.

She, with the help of of bumbling crow (voiced by the late Dom DeLuise), she seeks out the advice of a mysterious, but wise old owl (voiced by the late John Carradine). The "Great Owl" tells her to seek the assistance of the rats.

When she finds the rats, she is amazed at what she sees. They have the ability to use electricity, stolen from the farm, which a kind rat named "Justin" (voiced by Peter Strauss) frowns upon since stealing is wrong.

She learns of the rats story, where they lived at a place called N.I.M.H., or "NIMH" (which is short for the National Institute of Mental Health, a real-life medical organization in the United States), and gained an increased mental ability thanks to experiments performed on them. She also learned that her late husband had his hand in the rats, and other animals, escape from NIMH.

The animation is real good in this movie, and holds up almost 30 years later. Though the majority of coloring is darker colors, the scenery and characters are animated fantastically. Lighter hues are scarce in this film. The darker hues are best used with the "Great Owl", whose shot mostly in shadows so that his orange-yellow-tinted eyes stand out.

The characters are enhanced by the performers. Hartman made "Mrs. Brisby" kindhearted while in desperate need of saving her children. DeLuise made the crow a bumbling idiot, and was simply fantastic as the comedy relief.

Even though the parts were probably recorded separately, the on-screen chemistry is really good in this movie. Sometimes, you forgot you were watching an animated movie depending on who was on screen with whom.

The only major downfall of this movie is that the subplots of this film completely miss the mark. It is told in the movie that NIMH is interested in the rat population of the farm, but they are never seen on-screen as villains trying to recapture the rats. And the lead rat villain's (voiced by the late Paul Shenar) story of trying to take over the colony is completely relegated to a such a minor subplot, it's not even worth it. Personally, I would have tried to see the villain trying to create a stir by talking to others in the rat colony to invoke an uprising at just the right moment.

Character development is fairly weak in this film. Although there is some pretty good development in the main characters, the supporting characters are a miss. I didn't understand what many of the minor characters had to do with the plot, as they were really under developed. I really couldn't tell who was needed for more than just plot advancement, and who was not needed.

The music is pretty boring. I didn't even think it helped enhance the action of the scenes. I remember at the end, just as the credits begin, there is one song with lyrics. This song would never be a Top 10 smash, or a Hollywood classic. In fact, it's pretty forgettable.

There is some mild violence, and one bad word in the entire movie. I might keep the Sesame Street crowd away from this movie because of these, and that the movie is not anything like a Disney movie.

I can just barely recommend this movie. It's almost a couple of notches above being skipable. Personally, I would check it on Hulu if there is nothing else to do.

Sunset Pass
(1946)

Too short to work as well as it could have
A young outlaw (Robert Clarke) is accused of a murder he did not commit.

Now, an express company detective (James Warren), who is sent to the area to solve a bank robbery, is determined to find out the truth as payback when the outlaw saves his life.

Let me say right at the top that this movie is way too short. Lasting only 64 minutes, they had to rush the story.

Due to the movie's length, there was no chance for the story to develop as it should have. There was also many problems with the plot and various subplots.

The main plot does not show until the last part of the movie. We do see some development on the romantic level, as well as relationships between the main characters.

There were some impressive performances in this film. Warren was fantastic in one of the main leads. I also enjoyed Nan Leslie in the leading actress role.

As for the supporting cast, there were some good performances, and some bad. Only a small group of the supporting cast appeared to have just stood there as they said their lines, and were unbelievable.

Character development is completely horrible in this movie. The characters' individual stories were completely rushed, and I found it confusing trying to remember who was who, and how they were related to each other.

I was also not impressed with the soundtrack in this movie. You have two on-screen performances of a couple of short, boring songs. You also have some music during some horse chase scenes. Every piece of music is completely forgettable. In fact, even the two performances is as well. The songs which are performed on screen are slow, and the singer is completely boring.

As for action, there is only one real good gun fight at the climax of the movie. It too felt rushed though. You get some other gun battles, but they are tame in comparison to the one near the end of the movie.

The gun battles are not violent, due to the movie being produced in 1946. You don't get any blood at all to show gunshot wounds. All you get are the actors grabbing where they were hit after falling to the ground. In comparison to today's movies, the violence is extremely tame in this movie.

If you like Westerns, or Zane Grey, who wrote the novel this movie is based on, then I suggest you check this out. However, thanks to the length of this film, it's not the best. For the rest of you, this one is one you can skip.

I can only suggest this to the audience not into Westers only for the pretty strong performances from the main cast.

The Last Man on Earth
(1964)

Price carries a fair movie
For three years, "Robert Morgan" (Vincent Price) has been trying to survive against those infected with a plague which has turned them into vampire-like zombies. It appears that he is somehow immune to the strange affliction.

During daylight, he goes out and kills those infected with hand-made stakes. Then, at night, he stays locked up in his house until the morning comes again as those infected try in vein to break into his home.

Once a scientist trying to find a cure for the disease, "Morgan" is now just trying to survive.

This is not the best movie I have seen recently. However, just to watch Price is worth it.

Price carries this movie for most of the film by himself. He is the focus for most of the story, and handles it well. The audience can hear his thoughts as he goes through the day, and it's done really well. Price uses his voice wonderfully in the voice overs, and makes the movie pretty intriguing.

The big problem with this movie is that the infected are characterized as vampires. Yes, they are repulsed by the scent of garlic, and can't be in the sunlight. However, they can't stand looking at their reflection. Vampires, on the other hand, can not be seen in mirrors. They are more like zombies in my opinion.

The atmosphere is fairly creepy in this film. Many times, Price is the only person on camera. In many of these scenes they are enhanced by Price's voice overs. You can feel how lonely his character is by not only his dialog, but how he performs on screen. With his movements, he shows a man who is desperate to survive, but is exhausted.

One problem in this film is the cast during flashback scenes. They are just not believable in these roles. A couple of the actors did not sound like they even tried to make their performances believable.

Another problem was the audio. During many scenes, the voices were obviously dubbed over.

The music and many camera angles really helped enhance the film. Sometimes the camera was limited to the space of the sets, but was used very well. The music really isn't memorable in this film, but helped enhance the scenes.

This movie is not scary at all. Just a little creepy. The violence is very mild due to the time it was produced. I would not suggest this for real young children who get creeped out easily.

It's not a perfect movie, but it is a pretty good time-waster.

Lone Wolf McQuade
(1983)

An almost perfect action movie
Texas Ranger "John 'JJ" McQuade" (Chuck Norris) is a loner who bucks authority. However, he will work with some people when he knows it's needed.

During some down time from work, "McQuade" meets a beautiful widow (Barbara Carrera), who is with the mysterious martial arts expert "Rawley Wilkes" (the late David Carradine), who tries to get "McQuade", who has a reputation for using martial arts while trying to apprehend criminals he goes after. However, "McQuade" turns down the challenge.

Now, "McQuade", along with his new partner "Deputy Kayo" (Robert Beltran", slowly learns of "Wilkes" shady background and go after him. But, federal agents try to stop them. However, "McQuade" makes it personal when his daughter (Dana Kimmell) is injured when she and a boyfriend witness a murder.

Let me say first that this is not the best action movie, but it really is a pretty good movie. This is not a shoot'em up, fisticuffs film where there is only brief moments for the audience to catch their breath. It is, however an actioner where the action is needed.

I really liked Norris in this role. He played "McQuade" as a gentle man who preferred to be alone, but really loved those close to him. "McQuade" is one of those who only had to give you a look to tell you to back off, and Norris did a good job conveying it as well.

Many key supporting characters were barely developed, or not well developed. "Wilkes" and his boss (Daniel R. Frishman), a wheelchair-bound dwarf who has apparently crossed paths with "McQuade" many times in the past to the point that the Ranger knows when he tried to bluff him with an empty gold-plated pistol. The movie doesn't really tell us much about the two villains. In fact, I had to read online what "Wilkes" is as a criminal. Most of these supporting characters were just there to move the story along, and to give "McQuade" motivation.

As for action, as I said before, it's spaced out nicely through the movie. Maybe it's because this movie is almost 30 years old, the violence is pretty toned down. Of course, because of the two leads, there is martial arts fights sprinkled around more than gun fights and explosions. I would have liked to seen just a little more action than there was. However, the action scenes are handled well.

I wasn't impressed with the soundtrack in the movie, but the pieces of music is handled well and helps the scenes. I couldn't tell you any music from the movie if I heard it again, as the music is pretty forgettable.

Despite the flaws, I enjoyed this movie. I wouldn't put it in your Must See List, but I'd check it out if you catch it on television.

The Organization
(1971)

A pretty good cop movie
While investigating a corporate break-in, San Francisco Police Detective "Virgil Tibbs" (Sidney Portier) discovers that the suspects are in reality a group of revolutionaries bent on destroying a drug cartel known as "The Organization." Without permission from his superiors, "Tibbs" begins to work with the revolutionaries. They work their own ways, "Tibbs" working within police regulations, but still together.

This is a pretty well written movie, but with some slight flaws in performances. The pacing of the movie is slow, but well paced.

The stand out performance is easily Portier. This is the third movie where he portrays "Tibbs," of which he is probably best known for. He plays "Tibbs" two ways in the film. First, he plays the cop. You actually believe that he is a veteran on the police force. "Tibbs" passion is his work, and Portier makes you believe it. He also plays "Tibbs" as a family man who obviously loves his family. We don't get to see a lot of this side of the character since the focus is on the case he is on.

One problem with this movie is that the supporting characters is poorly presented. There is little to no development in the revolutionaries, and we don't get to see much of "The Organization" beyond the hired guns. I was also unimpressed with their on-screen chemistry with each other. Not one really stood out if you ask me. In fact, I felt that these characters would fit better in an early-1970's television series than in a major motion picture.

When it comes to the soundtrack, it's typical 1970's movie music. Not one piece is memorable. However, some pieces of music was used quite well in scenes.

The action is pretty toned down in this film, probably because of the time it was filmed. You get a lot of chases on foot, and one pretty forgettable car chase. You also get some gun play with little blood. There is little to no intensity in the action scenes. The only thing that makes these scenes intense is the music played over them.

There is a pretty good, and unexpected twist at the end of the movie, and it's handled pretty well thanks to Portier's performance. I didn't see it coming. There is also some really good transition edits in this film that I thought were done nicely.

Though not a perfect movie, it is enjoyable, mostly thanks to Portier's performance.

If you ever catch this on HBO or the free section of your On Demand service, check it out if your regular show is either not on for alternative programming or in a rerun. I actually watched it on Hulu, and only had to deal with about two minutes of commercials, which were sometimes oddly placed.

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