maxskyfan-9

IMDb member since March 2010
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    IMDb Member
    9 years

Reviews

Words and Pictures
(2013)

Performances Were Lovely And The Production Was Grand
Plot

Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) is an honors English teacher for an elite high school who is also loud and arrogant and somewhat self-destructive as a high-functioning alcoholic which has made him a problem with the school's management and it looks like he might lose his job if things don't turn around quickly. He is obsessed with words, but ironically he hasn't written a word in six years. Being a published author initially got him his teaching position, yet now it looks like it is publish or perish. Meanwhile Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche), a well-known painter, becomes the new art teacher at Marcus's school. She is standoffish to everyone she meets because she is unpleased in how life has treated her. A medical condition known as rheumatoid arthritis has left her hands all but useless and this has made it extremely difficult to paint at all, let alone paint in the manner that she is used to. Overhearing how Delsanto believes words play second fiddle to pictures Marcus starts a competition to vastly prove that words have no equal.

Character Development

While Jack is trying to overcome internal struggles, Dina is overcoming the external ones. This conflict continues throughout the entire film as the battle ensues between words and pictures. This is a very detailed accounting that spans many degrees of emotions and travels over some very rich storytelling. There was a great deal of world building here with the development of this professional artist and her classroom of amateur artists and this dovetailed into the character quite nicely.

Acting

The cast did a brilliant job with the script. Everyone seemed to play their part well down to the smallest role. Valerie Tian who played Emily came off very credible in her role as a high school student and Bruce Davison who played Walt came across as an honestly warm friend that Jack could confide in. I believed that the players here could be mistaken for the genuine article if given half the chance. The production went that extra mile for that authenticity.

Overview

There are quite a few of unpleasant moments in this film so it is really not for the light of heart. I remembered a different spin of things when I recall the story from the trailer. That being said the performances were lovely and the production was grand with all the artwork. It moved about with a steady meter and only paused when it was needed. The story was interesting enough with the flare that this script should have been tried before; certainly the title seems familiar in its presentation. But I know a filmmaker would probably say that they include both words and pictures in their art form. Twenty-four pictures for every second of film projected on screen, yet they have to trim the words on the page for lack of time. Still the script here made an attempt to cut the difference down the middle. Well, mostly.

Next
(2007)

Terrific Story, Some Great Special Effects & Unbelievable Action
Plot

Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) is a small time magician that can see two minutes into his future. He is after a girl that he can sense much farther into his future with while a FBI agent, Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore), is looking for him to stop a nation disaster. Cris is determined not to listen to agent Ferris's pleas because he is certain he won't be able to help and keeps looking for the girl that is in his visions instead. He comes to her aid in a diner and learns that her name is Liz Cooper (Jessica Biel). Cris gets Liz to agree to drive him to her next destination. Meanwhile the people the FBI are trying to stop have taken an interest in Cris and Liz because they are worried that Cris will be able to predict what they are doing and then the FBI could easily stop them.

Character Development

Cris and Liz development slightly, but only barely so. Most characters are like wooden boxes that won't form into any other shape. There is hardly any growth.

Acting

The acting is believable, yet not much more. There weren't any moments where one would think this was wonderfully acted, which is not a fault of the actor themselves and had more to do with what type of film this was and what was written on the script.

Overview

This was a nicely told film with some great action and special effects. I really enjoyed when the film would showcase Cris's ability of seeing the future and illustrating what he was thinks onto the film. And the idea of the story was a classic, very engaging and it held my interests the whole time. Right up to the ending that I didn't see coming and for once made perfect sense.

Edge of Tomorrow
(2014)

At Times This Story Was Very Entertaining
Plot

Cage (Tom Cruise) is a public relations officer and just about the worst soldier you would ever meet. General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) orders him to the front lines. Cage doesn't want to go and even threatens the General who then strips Cage of rank, demoting him to private. Afterwards Cage is taken in handcuffs to Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) who gets him familiar with his new squad. The next day they mobilize for a massive operation, in which Cage is killed, but Cage doesn't stay dead, instead he wakes up being introduced to Master Sergeant Farell all over again. The next time Cage finds himself on the battlefield he meets Rita (Emily Blunt) who had the same problem. Together they compare notes and find a new way to strike at the enemy.

Character Development

Cage generally makes a complete turn to who he was at the beginning of the picture to where he ends up, yet the emotional reward is just not there with the Cage (Tom Cruise) like it was with Phil (Bill Murray) in "Groundhog Day" (1993). I think the character General Brigham was right when he called what was happening all around him "one big trick".

Acting

Though there were a few tender moments, this wasn't the place for much in the way of acting and much more time was utilized in reacting and stunt work. The points in this story were it slowed to lay some emotion was in my opinion a mistake where the two leads were made to touch lips, which seemed out of character and out of place on the battlefield.

Overview

At times this story was very entertaining. There is no getting around that fact though that this was another version of "Groundhog Day" (1993). The only difference was in this movie the story here tried to find a rational explanation to why the protagonist was reliving the same day over and over again. And like "Groundhog Day" (1993) Tom Cruise's character demonstrates his godlike powers of knowing everything about everyone around him. What I found disappointed about this film was how it seemed to get stuck switching gears. One minute it a series of living and dying and the next it tea time in the farmhouse. The pace was definitely off at times. Yet the action and special effects seemed to be working well, only I thought the alien moved with such incredible speed it just didn't appear to be realistic. Out of all the thought and planning that went into the production of this film the designs of the alien race had to be the weakest element. All the world's nations unite to fight them and there is nothing to see. Just a bunch of downed human aircraft and soldiers. What is the enemy using to knock our stuff out of the sky? They are like a bunch of snipers you cannot spot.

Magic in the Moonlight
(2014)

A Romantic Look Back At The Past
Plot

Stanley (Colin Firth) is an international well known magician and debunker of charlatans. He is asked by an old friend to investigate Sophie (Emma Stone), who has endeared herself to a very rich family. Stanley tries again and again to prove that she is a fake and is awestruck when he cannot.

Character Development

Stanley's characters goes through a lengthy change, everyone else is not really important to the storytelling. There are some developments, but this is Stanley's story.

Acting

The acting was very believable and everyone played their parts quite well. There was a lot of back and forth with the dialog and the lines were clearly spoken with a great deal of flare. Though there were scene charges and movement by motorcar, practically all the acting was done with conversation, yet there was some singing that was mixed in.

Overview

Without giving too much away from the conclusion, there is something hidden in the story that isn't plainly obvious and I think this film is worth the chance to reveal it to you. The writing is quite enjoyable and the characters were interesting enough and the costumes and setting were nearly magical. I believe this film was set in the 1920s. It was a romantic look back at the past if not anything else.

Knights of Badassdom
(2013)

A Not All Bad Low Budget Spectacle
Plot

Joe (Ryan Kwanten) becomes despondent after his girlfriend breaks up with him so his friends Hung (Peter Dinklage) and Eric (Steve Zahn) take him to a medieval role playing camp where he meets Gwen (Summer Glau) and her cousin Gunther (Brett Gipson). Joe is reluctant at first to get into the festivities, but he comes around in the end. Then something goes horribly awry when Eric unknowingly uses black magic to summon a demon who looks like Joe's ex-girlfriend. She goes on a murderous path of destruction and it seems like there is no way to defeat her. Should they run to the hills or should Joe and his teammates band together to stop her before she begins killing the rest of their fellow gamers?

Character Development

There is virtually no character development here. Everyone seemed unaffected by what happened to them and just carries on. Other than Joe getting over his girlfriend nothing really happens. This is not a film of personal growth.

Acting

The comic timing seemed to be in sync for the most part. The lead actors did a fine job with what material they were given. Because everything was played for laughs none of the scenes where taken seriously, even when characters were faced with the threat of death. Under these circumstances this was not the realm to test anyone's skills of their acting ability. Yet I don't believe I have ever seen Steve Zahn in a serious acting role, though he always seems at home playing the comedic part.

Overview

Despite what appears to be a low budget production that seems to be filmed over a short period of time this movie was very entertaining for the most part. For its comical aspirations don't fall flat. It wasn't a laugh out loud funny, but I believe there was a great amount of humor there even though the antics were a bit sophomoric, yet no worse than other comedies of the recent past. I think the story reached a good mix of horror and lighthearted humor. What the producers set out to do looks like it has been accomplished.

Ivory Tower
(2014)

Just A Cable New Program Without Commercials
Plot

First the documentary follows one disadvantaged black student from a bad neighborhood get into Harvard for free and then it wonders why getting a good education for everybody else isn't just as easy. It touches back on this issue later on when a free college tries to move to a profit system and then comes down hard on an online system of education when they fall short of perfection. Surely the director must have been blinded to the advancements that have been made in this area and the scores of students that have been helped. And then I was sorry to see that little was mentioned about the cycle of rising school costs. There was some focus on it as to say it was there, but they didn't address it in any way to come to any conclusions in order to fix it. It was like watching a bull navigating a china shop without breaking through any issue the government had a role in. The documentary illustrates that the cost of tuition have dramatically increased over the years and well above the costs of other commodities, only there were no answers and no one in the here and now to hold responsible. Funny how Obama got no blame in this mess like he wasn't around to do anything about it, instead they dig up Reagan because he like Milton Friedman believed colleges need to be pay for by someone. It doesn't make sense that people who don't go to college should pay for the ones that do go to college, which is probably why this documentary only hinted at that idea. The underline question that is in play here is why our nation's students have so much debt yet that ponderance is kept at bay by a ten foot pole. Without much to say the narration swings around to the black student they started out with. He isn't doing well in any of his classes, yet he explains while driving through his rundown neighborhood that he is determined to finish his college because without it he would have nothing.

Character Development

The narrative is like a leaf in the wind. There is no rhyme or reason to its direction, only simple ends up where it started.

Acting

No Acting. This was a documentary.

Overview

There was only the very basic of production values. Like something that you would find on most TV shows. The only plus here would be no commercials, but to tell you the truth if I was watching this documentary on TV and was forced to watch a commercial I would probably watch something else. Since this documentary was produced by CNN I think it is a good bet that you will find it on their network before long anyway so it is probably not worth viewing it until then and subsequently it might be too much of a bother to drive to the local movie theater to see a film that doesn't ask any hard questions and avoids searching for any answers. But if you want to watch a film and walk out knowing less than you already do than this documentary will be the one you have been waiting for.

Finding Vivian Maier
(2013)

Nearly Came Out of This Film a Different Person
Plot

Initially this story is about John Maloof who on occasion bids on the contents of storage lockers. One day he saw some boxes that caught his fancy and won them in an auction. To his surprise he found a wondrous collection of photos. Soon he retracted his steps and located everyone who purchased boxes from the same storage locker that he had and when all was said and done he had over 100,000 photos, films and audio cassettes. Then came the painstaking task of scanning and documenting everything he had purchased. When Maloof discovered what he found belonged to Vivian Maier he was at first puzzled that he could not learn anything about her online. Impressed in the quality of Vivian Maier's work Maloof began posting her photos over the internet. This sparked an incredible curiosity into this mysterious photographer and a desire for more of her work that Maloof gladly supplied the best he could, but the task proved to be too massive for him to handle alone. With added help Maloof began displaying Vivian Maier photos in a number of cities and continued to delve into her past. He learned that Vivian Maier worked as a nanny and began interviewing the kids - now adults - that she took care of. Every step of the way through the documentary we are shown dozens and dozens of photos taken by Vivian Maier. Sometimes they are one at a time and sometimes they are whole sheets of photos. Several of them are selfies of Vivian Maier capturing her image off of a reflection. Apparently Vivian Maier used a type of camera that hung from her neck and rested on her chest. She looked down into the viewfinder to take someone's photo and didn't have to lift the camera at her subjects so she could go around mostly unseen before anyone could do anything. Most days she would take the children with her on walks on the seedy side of town to get colorful shots. She would even snap shots into trash cans. When Vivian Maier wasn't working she would travel and when she did she would take her camera. Maloof examined these photos and was able to locate her home town and learned that Vivian Maier's mother was a photographer too. Â

Character Development

Vivian Maier is the subject of this documentary. Very little is known about her in the beginning of the film other than she has taken an incredibly large number of photos. During the course of the picture this mystery women becomes much less of a mystery and the makers of this film travel back in time and find her home town and family, which is interesting because in the telling of the story Vivian Maier supposedly referred to herself as a spy and would repeatedly hide her identity and use various spelling of her name so it is a wonder that the makers of this film could unmask her.

Acting

No acting. This was a documentary.

Overview

I didn't think I was going to enjoy this film and now I don't think I can say enough good things about it. This film is probably the saddest and most hopeful experience I can remember in recent history. It would be like Stephen King dying tomorrow without publishing a word and me finding a storage locker with all of his writings that I just purchased for $200. I publish what Stephen King wrote and Stephen King becomes a house whole name, but wouldn't it have been great that Stephen King got some of that credit while he was still alive.

Fed Up
(2014)

Nothing Sweet About This Documentary On Sugar
Plot

The villain of this picture is sugar and the story follows how three families come to term with it. Along the way there where several interviews that covered the subject quite well. There was some background on the history of the food/sugar industry itself that delved into the student lunch program and into the adverting that is directed to children. The narrative is that kids are targeted from infants to adults.

Character Development

This film tried to throw you a curve-ball by first blaming obesity on overeating and lack of exercise.

Acting

No Acting. This is a documentary.

Overview

It was impressive how the producers were able to get an interview with Bill Clinton. Throughout the course of the film parts of his interview were sandwiched into the storyline. A strong case was made against the sugar industry and the companies that use sugar in their products. It was really eye opening to take in the whole discussion. The makers did an effective job illustrating the amounts of sugar that are in each product they showcased and they made it seem that sugar was in most products. Ultimately they painted a grim picture with not one of the families featured having a happy ending, juxtaposing the cigarette industry with the food industry.

Green Lantern: First Flight
(2009)

Suffered From Not Enough Deceit Dialogs And Story
Plot

A dying Alien gives Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) a powerful ring. A short time later the alien's friends visit Hal and ask about their friend. They introduce themselves to Hal and tell them that they need him to come with them back to the home world of their base of operations. When they get to this home world it is make known by the leaders of the league that they don't believe Hal would be a good fit, but Sinestro (Victor Garber), a respected member for the group, vouches for Hal and tells the leaders that he will evaluate him on his next mission. It is soon shown that Sinestro cannot be trusted and is working against the leadership of the league. Now it is a question if it is too late to stop him before the League of the Green Lanterns is wiped out for good.

Character Development

There is a little growth shown in the protagonist and other characters, but Hal becomes a Green Lantern quite easily and without much soul searching or wonder. I have seen more excitement on a kid that just got the training wheels taken off his bike. And with Sinestro it was plainly obvious that this was the bad guy. The only way they could made it any clearer would be to have this antagonist wear a danger sign around his neck, but even if this was the case the other characters were so dim they still would not have notice anything out of order.

Acting

Level good acting. Mostly impressive voice work. There could have been some great moments if the writing lead way to that type of acting.

Overview

I think this movie suffered from not enough deceit dialogs and story. The talking only seemed to take you from place to place in a perfunctory manner. I did not sense and depth or beauty in it. Then the drama was just too one side with the Hal and Sinestro. How is it possible with all those immortal guardians that not one can see pass Sinestro's lies and be unaware of his hatred? The writer could have played with both sides and had done some juggling instead of giving the keys the kingdom to the antagonist, but no they give Sinestro an inside man and decided to help instead of throwing in a monkey wrench to foul up Sinestro's works, which would have make things more interesting.

Iron Man
(2008)

Plenty of Moving Parts In This Movie
Plot

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) travels to Afghanistan to showcase his new wares to the United States Army. The demonstration goes as planned, but on his way back to base he is attacked, injured and held for ransom by a local warlord. He is given materials and told to build weapons for his captors, only he plans for escape instead by constructing an armed metal suit. With the help of a fellow inmate he earns his freedom and is soon rescued. Upon returning home he surprises his business partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) when he talks openly about not having his company manufacture weapons anymore. At the same time Tony is distancing himself from Obadiah he is growing closer to his longtime employee Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), but most of the hours of the day are spent designing and building a more advance version of the suit that he used to escape with.

Character Development

The Tony Stark protagonist is such an unbelievably shallow character it would seem easy to let the performance just go as that, but there were degrees of change to show some growth from earlier scenes. Yet I wish Tony was not so wisecracking all the time and was a little more serious. The only thing that seemed to silence his manic streak were great pain and near death experiences. Mostly it was a consist state of clownishness. The rest of the cast played into this storm like a twister would suck up a farmhouse. Tony's character completely ran over everyone and everyone was a victim to it.

Acting

Most of the cast was quite enjoyable. Robert Downey Jr. played the lead well, Gwyneth Paltrow was very charming, but I will have to give the most accolades to Jeff Bridges for playing a rich and well-rounded part. He is the one who really brought this picture together.

Overview

There is plenty of moving parts in this movie so there is much joy in seeing them come together. The sides here shift and not everything is a known quality. It is clever in how the conclusion came together, which shows some forethought and planning on part of the writers and director. The overall completion definitely covers up the imperfections of the sum of its parts.

Her
(2013)

Eat Your Heart Out Bill Gates
Plot

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a writer who works for a company that produces professional written letters for the public. He is going through a rough patch with his marriage breaking up and he is feeling out of sorts when he buys a new operating system that is designed to cover all his possible problems. It does this and more. This operating system is incredibly intelligent from the beginning. After Theodore sets up the system with a female voice the system names itself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Samantha and Theodore form a long lasting relationship which not everyone is understanding about, but soon there are developments that not even Theodore can overlook. He turns to his human friend Amy (Amy Adams) for some help and guidance.

Character Development

This has been a film of development from the start with Samantha and Theodore. During the course of the film there are glimpses into the past with Theodore's soon to be ex-wife and how that relationship fell apart. It was almost like a documentary in its telling, building upon event after event. The path forward and back is clearly marked.

Acting

There were a lot of rich details in the acting and it was done in complete seriousness. This was not a script that played for laughs.

Overview

The writing was really well done. I could tell that there was plenty of planning in the sequences. One effective touch was the playing of Theodore's relationship in flashbacks with his soon to be ex-wife bit by bit while telling the current events of Theodore with Samantha and the rest of the world. Another good effort was with the added drama with Samantha developing feelings and Theodore finding fault with her and Samantha becoming emotional because of that. One nice moment was when Theodore noticed that Samantha was inhaling before she spoke. He rationalized with Samantha that machines do not need to breath. Both characters would push each other and both characters developed beyond the point at which they started. Just like a real relationship.

If I Stay
(2014)

An Interesting Conflict That I Haven't Seen Before
Plot

Mia Hall (Chloe Grace Moretz) is in a car accident with her mother Kat (Mireille Enos), her father Denny (Joshua Leonard) and her brother Teddy (Jakob Davies). She is the only one who survives the accident. She is able to experience the ordeal in an outer body state and travel about the hospital eavesdropping on conversations. The movie juxtaposes this part of the film with glimpses of moments in scenes of events that occurred before this accident of Mia's life with the time of the people that she cared about and the family that she lost in the accident. She seems to have the power to decide if she is going to wake up and fight to continue live her life with the ones that are still there for her or slip away into the hereafter. The question is: If I stay?

Character Development

Mia Hall love interest is Adam (Jamie Blackley) and together their relationship makes up the core of the film. From their beginnings and through their struggles and the moments at her bedside at the hospital - this is the path the film takes you on that is much of their story and little does deviate from this course.

Acting

There were many moments of some wonderful acting with some great showing of song and singing and music playing. It is questionable that all the performances are performed by the cast, but still is made believable on film and the end result was quite moving just the same.

Overview

Outside of Mia relationship with Adam, she struggles with her playing the cello and how her love of classic music differs with that of her family and her boyfriend. The minor conflict is playing in the background behind her overall feeling of Adam and how her love of music will not blend with that of his. This is an interesting conflict that I haven't seen before, and mixed with the outer body experience which is more or less well known work very well in a new and fresh way. Then the story has a delightful blend of mixing past and current events together with a desirable effect. The film is able to take an element that has been done before and make it special with some added flare.

The Hundred-Foot Journey
(2014)

An Understandably A Very Solid Picture
Plot

Hassan (Manish Dayal) is traveling through France with his family looking for a location for their new restaurant. His father (Om Puri) discovers a possible place when they have car trouble, but this location proves to be difficult because there is already a fine eating establishment a hundred feet away from it and the owner there is not above playing dirty tricks to keep her restaurant in the limelight. Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) has been looking for years to improve the rating of her eatery. Elsewhere her sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) is warming up to Hassan after hours. She is helping him to cook classic France food. Hassan uses his new knowledge to wow Madame Mallory, much to Marguerite's displeasure when Hassan soon outranks Marguerite in Madame Mallory restaurant.

Character Development

There is much growth among the various characters in this film. Hassan and his father follow their own paths as well as Madame Mallory and Marguerite. There is a full range of developments here.

Acting

The acting was quite good for the most part. Helen Mirren and Om Puri really played their parts well and easily stole the show here, though Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon do show some chemistry on screen as well.

Overview

This is an understandably a very solid picture with one noticeable defect. Towards the end of the film the story doesn't finish and continues on several more minutes. It seemed to stutter instead of end with a smooth transition. For the most part this is a very enjoyable film with a lot of love and heart and an unbelievable good dose of food being displayed and prepared. The story works with the help of a great cast, using conflicts that are both entertaining and without being far-fetched.

50 to 1
(2014)

Not As Enjoyable As I Would Have Hoped
Plot

The movie starts with Mark Allen (Christian Kane) in a bar fight that he is losing. Chip Woolley (Skeet Ulrich) decides to come to his rescue and together they make it out of the bar alive. Once outside they go their separate ways. Mark is on his way to Alaska and Chip wishes him well on his journey. Ten years later Chip is in a failing business with his brother Bill (David Atkinson). They train horses and can barely make ends meet. Then Chip discovers that his one-time pal Mark is in town and he happens to be a well to do horse owner. Chip wastes no time in rekindling his friendship with Mark and see if he can make him a client. Mark is glad to see Chip and agrees to make him his trainer sending him off on his private jet to evaluate a horse that has been offered to him. At first Chip is underwhelmed by the horse, but after seeing him race he has a change of heart. Hearing that this horse 'Mine that Bird' has some prospects Mark tries to entice Leonard Doc Blach (William Devane) to buy it for him. Doc agrees and Chip begins to train Bird. After a couple a races it doesn't appear that is Bird performing well. Looking for something to blame Doc second guesses Chip as the trainer. When Chip meets up with his brother he learns that their business is bankrupt. They have bills way pass due and all their other owners have taken back their horse. The only have Bird. Shortly later Chip is in a bad motorcycle accident and fractures his leg in several places. Because Chip is determined to continue training Bird Mark introduces him to Alex (Madelyn Deutch). Chip is reluctant to work with a woman and they subsequently don't get along well. Then Mark gets a fortuitous call that he cannot at first believe: 'Mine that Bird' has qualified for the Kentucky Derby.

Character Development

Despite the fact that Chip Woolley is the underdog and because he has the most to lose he therefore goes through much diversity and develops the most out of all the other characters. The other players are mainly there to be along for the ride. Except for Alex who showed some minor changes everyone else are really static characters; not to fault Skeet Ulrich as an actor, but Mark Allen hardly changes for the first cell of the film to the last. Most performances were like that.

Acting

The acting is mainly serviceable and mostly serious with a few laughs mixed in with a few close calls. Much of the performances were in effect trying to portray the fish out of the water story of the county bumpkin in the big city; much like in the movie "The Cowboy Way" (1994) with Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland. Another good chuck of the story dealt with the trek from their homes in New Mexico to Louisville, Kentucky.

Overview

Not as enjoyable as I would have hoped. Everything seemed to be riding on that last race and I felt the payoff wasn't that big. The biggest feature of this story though was that it was based on a true story and it was revealing to see the real footage at the end of the film. Interesting enough the real jockey, Calvin Borel, of the horse 'Mine that Bird' is in the film playing the part of the jockey and Skeet Ulrich very much looks like the real Chip Woolley. Yet the road trip was slow and uninspired and much of the middle of the storyline sagged. I know it is based on a real story, but they could have embellished a little more and given it a little sizzle. Too many times I felt like I was just soaking in the background and waiting for something to happen. I thought there could have been some more interchanges and heard some more histories. Maybe honesty is not always the best policy.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
(2014)

Much Better Without A Dunst
Plot

Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) is a brilliant little worker at Oscorp, but he is routinely mistreated and given no credit for his work which his company has made a fortune on. One day Max inadvertently stumbles into oncoming traffic and then is saved by Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). From that time on Max is obsessed with all things Spider-Man. Then one night Max is forced to work late on his birthday and while doing so accidentally falls victim to his own extreme awkwardness and ends up getting himself electrocuted and consequently becoming a super-powered entity known as the Electro. Needless to say Electro goes on a path of destruction and when Spiderman-Man tries to stop him and we soon see that Electro's hero worship of Spider-Man has become that overwhelming hatred. Meanwhile Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) shows up in town and takes over Oscorp after his father's passing. Harry is an old friend of Peter Parker and when Peter comes to visit Harry, Harry confides in him that he is dying and the only thing that can save him is Spider-Man's blood. Since it is public knowledge that Peter Parker takes photos of Spider- man Harry believes that his friend Peter can get word to him. Now Peter is face with letting his friend die or dealing with the ramifications of giving someone his highly advance blood.

Character Development

Playing a superhero can carry an emotional toll on someone's sense of well-being. Spider-Man is one of those superheroes where that toll is very taxing and in this film he is faced with turmoil outside of the battlefield which makes this story very compelling to a large degree. We soon learn from the beginning of the film that Peter Parker is be tugged down with the guilt of not keeping the promise he made with his girlfriend's father and these thoughts plague him throughout the film. Unlike a character like Superman, Spider-man is not bulletproof and his life in this film is held in consist jeopardy, yet he remains venerable just as much when he is just Peter Parker.

Acting

I have heard some blow-back with Andrew Garfield playing the lead role of Spider-Man, but I find him serviceable to his predecessor who I did find was slightly annoying at times so I didn't really see the rub. In this film Jamie Foxx plays one of the villains and he did remind me of Tobey Maguire playing Peter Parker in Spider-Man (2002) and if you can compare those two performances you can see what direction the others films took and see how these films differ. This Spider-Man is more confident and self-assured and I think that is a good thing. The only real flaw I can find is with Dane DeHaan, not this acting per se, but with the time he was allowed to do it. His time on screen was very light for that of a villain and didn't have much weight because of it, which in my mind came off as somewhat an afterthought as it did a means to an end in telling a story.

Overview

When I compare Spider-Man (2002) with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) I have faced with some ground-breaking achievement, some brilliant improvements and I am not writing about the special effects that are much more enhanced. I am talking about the casting of Peter Parker's love interest Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who is many levels the superior performer of Kirsten Dunst who played Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man and the rest of earlier series of films by Sam Raimi, it would have seem that the director wasn't in charge of the casting at all or lost a bet or something. Every minute Dunst was on the screen I would cringe, one moment she was saccharin sweet and the next she was unbelievable distant. She played the role with no range, no nuance. I do not know how I could fault the director when Dunst was the only indelible black mark on the picture which is ironic because she does look appealing on a movie poster after it has been touched up. If it wasn't so detrimental to the film it would be comical that Dunst plays an actress as part of her role. Why is it that those actors that play actors cannot act? I think it was true for Joey on Friends and that guy in Taxi who played a struggling actor. Maybe it is because they can play an actor slightly worst, but they know they cannot play an actor no better. Frankly I am surprised that Kirsten Dunst doesn't get more mockery from her name. Doesn't "Dunst" sound like "dunce"? She does play to the stereotype of a dumb blonde after all. Somehow I am not one who finds that endearing and am glad to see that was improved on.

Atlas Shrugged: Part III
(2014)

Everything Seems To Come Together
Plot

John Galt (Kristoffer Polaha) is an employee of a company that has made it a practice to pool everyone's earnings and then pay it workers based on their needs. Not agreeing to this system of payment John Galt leaves in protest declaring that he is going to put an end to this madness. When we catch up with him again he is part of a protected community where everyone pays their own way. Businessmen and inventors from all over the country have gathered to share their hard work without the complications of governmental red tape and regulations. No longer are their freedoms violated and they don't have to worry about not following their conscience. This has an adverse reaction to the rest of the country when all these wonderful people left their absence created a great void that could not be filled leaving system after system inside America steadily falling apart and continued civil unrest mushrooming up afterward that could not be restored, even with massive forced intervention by the government. Elsewhere in the story Dagny Taggart (Laura Regan) is able to break through the protective layer of John Galt's community and for a few days spend some time with him and the people there. John asks her to stay, but upon hearing the horror the country has become she vows to save it.

Character Development

In this film the plot is more important than the character development. All the characters are pretty much set in stone, living out their lives in a preprogrammed way. They have their parts and their speeches and much of the antagonists are downright black and white in nuance. The only one who seems to have any freewill is Dagny Taggart. She comes in as the fish out of water in John's world and must make her decisions in the end.

Acting

Solid acting all around, there were plenty of shades of darkness with the antagonists even though they were a little monotone. The arguments the movie made were a little one-sided, but the John Galt character was right on message and very persuasive. Yet the acting was in no way extra special. There weren't any stellar moments to speak of, only there was nothing off putting either. All the actors hit their marks and read their lines with good delivery.

Overview

Everything seems to come together. I really think I have seen a finished product here with the ending. Not to give the ending away but there is one moment that doesn't make sense during the closing that could only be left in for dramatic effect and the payoff is huge. This is obvious a message movie and as a message movie I don't think you can challenge it like other message movies because this is in story form and not a documentary where you can break it apart and dispute the facts. This picture was a vision and a philosophy and being a drama it is harder to deconstruct. Now the shoe is on the other foot.

Belle
(2013)

The Level of Detail Is Impressive
Plot

Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) travels home to England so that his daughter, Belle, can be taken care by his family, the Lord (Tom Wilkinson) and Lady (Emily Watson) of Mansfield. Needless to say his family is shocked to find that his daughter's mother was black, but they agree to watch over her while Captain Lindsay takes his next naval assignment. Then the story jumps ahead at least ten years and Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her cousin, Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon), are still the best of friends. Shortly after this advancement in time Belle learns of her father's passing by way of a letter given to her by Lord Mansfield. This solves a pressing problem for Belle, with her inheritance there would be no need to find a suitable husband, a tricky possibility at best for a girl without fair skin. Despite Belle's station one suitor, of a good family, calls on her and Belle is intrigued by this offer. Meanwhile a substantial legal case has presented itself to Lord Mansfield that he must decide on. It involves a slave ship that has dumped its cargo because it was running low on drinking water and now is looking to be reimbursed by the insurance company. Belle finds the comparison of human beings as cargo detestable. This finding compels her to act. She is moved to peruse the papers in Lord Mansfield's study and consult with an aspirating lawyer that she has grown close to. Lord Mansfield discovers her activities and confronts both Belle and the lawyer and they in turn placed a challenge before Lord Mansfield to trust in his heart and reason fairly. Belle too during the course of this film must make a decision on marriage and how is going to spend the rest of her life.

Character Development

Lord Mansfield character does a lot of soul searching and becomes a different person that he was in the beginning for the film, though the film does jump ahead at least ten years so much of this development has to be imaged. This goes the same with Belle. She was just a little child one moment and then the next she is an adult with the prospects of getting marry and having kids of her own. Really this is not much time to development anything. If you take the time after the ten year jump I say there is about two weeks of time and that is being generous, so things are moving quickly.

Acting

Even though everyone was believable in their roles and acted well no one had the presence of Tom Wilkinson. He just completely looked the part and made anyone performance shine who acted a scene with him, yet there was no mistaking Gugu Mbatha-Raw's brilliance in her part. She was able to carry the film quite well. Certainly there was no over acting here, just degrees of emotions, which was very refreshing. Scenes moved with the causal ease of a stroll and didn't jump about in editing.

Overview

This was a wonderful production. If I didn't know any better I say the film crew was sent back in time and this was just a documentary. At the end of the film there is a shot of the real painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Elizabeth Murray and it very much looked like the painting that was commissioned for this motion picture portraying the actresses that play them. The level of detail is impressive, from the sets to the customs and carriages, everything looked right. Sadly the story was a little dry, I felt it lull a few times. I thought surely they could have written some dialog or something. It was as if the product team was only letting the scenery sink in and nothing more. And then the musical score was working overtime filling in here and there like it didn't trust what the actors were doing, which was odd because the musical score was anything but remember-able.

Back to the Future
(1985)

Both Humorous and Entertaining
Plot

Marty's good friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, invents a time machine in the form of a sports car and because of unforeseen circumstances Marty finds himself trapped in 1955 where he ends up meeting his parents and inadvertently fowls up how his parents come together and fall in love. This blunder endangers Marty's very existence because if his parents don't become an item he will never be born so Marty must move heaven and earth to get his parents on a road to romantic bliss. Meanwhile the younger version of Dr. Emmett Brown must find a way to get his time machine working so he can get Marty back to his own time.

Character Development

The lead character Marty McFly doesn't experience much character development, but he is able to influence others dramatically. Only these developments aren't the focus of the story and mostly happen off screen

Acting

One of the ingredients that are equal to the magic of the story itself is the acting. The characters come to life on screen and carry over to everyday life. This has become an event film that has worked its way from pop culture to film history that has helped mark a decade. There is nothing second rate when it comes to the acting for there are no false moments in any of the cast's performances. Though there is a lot of action and racing about, much of what makes repeated viewing of this film possible are the humorous situations that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) keep getting themselves into and how they react to them. All the lead actors do stellar work and make the trouble that Marty and Emmett get into very believable.

Overview

There are a lot surprises that are both humorous and entertaining. Again the writing is on a level all to its own where one scene snaps perfectly with the next. There never seems to be a moment in time that doesn't connect to a later moment. It is quite brilliant and the transformation from the cast's older to younger selves is really amazing. Mix this with the energy of the soundtrack and this has got to be one of best movies of the 80s if not that of all time. Top marks all around.

The Cutting Edge
(1992)

Never Could Be Deuplicated
Plot

This is the story of a hockey player named Doug Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney) who can no longer play hockey and is forced to work in a factory. After hours he continues to train even though no professional franchise is willing to put him on their roster. Determine to play he enlists into the local bar league that is happy to have him. Then one day a coach happens onto him while he is working on an outside job. He introduces himself as Anton Pamchenko (Roy Dotrice). Doug mistakenly believes him to be a hockey coach. Anton explains that he is not a hockey coach and then hands him a pair of figure skates. And then the plot thickens. Doug is transported to a wealthy businessman's residence who among others things has his own ice ring. Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) is along in the ring skating. After introductions Anton proclaims that they could become a figure skating couple and make it to the next winter Olympics and possible win a gold medal. After a few rocky starts they are soon on their way of making that a reality.

Character Development

It is not often that the lead roles grow as individuals and change so dramatically. Doug is the basic fish out of water character, but Kate also needs to grow up and adapt and overcome her differences. There are role reversals and clever moments and regressions. Character and broken down and built up again and it really doesn't give much away to state that they is a happy finish.

Acting

What is truly wonderful about this film is that the all the lead roles and many of the minor ones do a stellar job in the acting department. Sweeny and Kelly have a ton of chemistry together and really move along the romantic wedge of the story forward. The writing plays well with their playful banter which is quite often. They try to outdo each other on and off the ice and become a better team because of it and grow closer together despite themselves.

Overview

This story is one of the better ones and even though they have tried to duplicate the magic in this film more than once they couldn't get the lightning to strike twice. But this fact doesn't go against the grain of logic because other remakes have gone just as poorly, the film 'Sabrina' (1995) with Harrison Ford would be one of those examples.

The Fault in Our Stars
(2014)

The Energy Was Palpable When They Wade The Effort
Plot

Hazel (Shailene Woodley) has cancer and may die of it. The prospects don't look great. Her mother (Laura Dern) is worried about her and thinks she is depressed because she keeps rereading the same book so she instructs Hazel to go to a cancer support group. During the course of a meeting she is introduced to Gus (Ansel Elgort) and Isaac (Nat Wolff). Gus makes a pass at Hazel who looked intrigued by the offer, but not all together moved by it. Slowly Gus is successful in winning Hazel's affections after agreeing to read her favorite book. It is after this time when Hazel confides in Gus that she tried to contact the author and was unable to get a reply. Later when Gus tries contacting the author he gets an invitation to meet the author himself at his home in Amsterdam. Hazel is delighted in having the opportunity to talk to her beloved author in person and discuss what happened to the characters in the story she was reading after the book was finished. Only she doesn't know if she can make the trip because her doctors told her she is too sick to go and her mom told her they might not be able to afford it.

Character Development

The impressive trend of this film is that the whole cast goes through a transformation of one kind or another and unlike a great many films, this film's time-line leaves room for that to happen. The two leads spend much of the screen time with one another and slowly build a relationship. An interesting element of the storytelling involves superimposing text-ting messages and emails onto the screen instead of having the audience read over someone's shoulder. And then there was a tender moment when the couple picked one special word they would use to signify their love.

Acting

Impressive acting all around, though Nat Wolff's character was at times very irritating, but I don't know how much of it is the actor's fault and how much of that is the writing. I think it could swing either way; most likely something that the director (Josh Boone) could have squared away if he had the means. I also thought that Sam Trammell's character was underutilized, but that would be another problem with the writing. He had a couple poignant little scenes, only it wasn't much. He was left behind a great deal of the way. Willem Dafoe was another actor that was underutilized, though that had to do with the fact that he was given a small role. I know it is said that there are no small roles, only small actors; yet the honest truth is that he had a small role and he did the best with it that he could and he did show some growth.

Overview

There are a few unforeseen twists along the way that keeps this rather weepy tale from getting stale and they all work within the logic framework of the story and are quite clever in their design. Nothing can be taken for granted here and about anything could happen. One thread of the story goes one way and just when you think it has run its course it continues along the same path in the next scene. Generally I was entertained for the most part, yet there were moments and some unpleasant stretches of time that began to lull a bit too much or irritate. I could definitely notice this awkwardness because when things began to fall into place in the end and I could feel the difference in the storytelling. The energy was palpable when they made the effort.

Maleficent
(2014)

Most Unexpected
Plot

This movie takes a different look at Maleficent (Isobelle Molloy) and starts the story long before there is any malice in her heart. When the tale begins she is just one of many fairies that live in her magical land. She spends most days flying around and mending broken branches. Then one day she meets a boy named Stefan who has ventured into her woods and has taken something that didn't belong to him. Maleficent takes the object back and returns it. Stefan finds her peculiar, yet spends a great deal of time with her until one day he just stopped coming to see her at all. When Stefan (Sharlto Copley) comes back to Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) as a man he is there under false pretenses. Stefan had been promised the kingship if he would defeat Maleficent who has become a powerful guardian of her lands, but at the moment of truth he cannot strike her down so he removes her wings instead and returns to his kingdom with his prize. Years later Stefan marries and has a daughter. It is at this moment that Maleficent swoops down on them with a vengeance.

Character Development

Because there are so many time jumps it really is not fair to fault the acting for not showing much character development. First you have Maleficent and Stefan when they are teenagers and then a scene later they are 20 years older. For Aurora we have 3 people playing her. There are a few developments between Maleficent and Stefan and that speak volumes to who they truly are, but the story was not told in manner that would reach any deeper. Piggybacking on top of performances can only get you so far. Because after you have taken that 20 year jump in time it is not that much longer before there is another 16. People on screen might show emotions, only it isn't entirely clear how they got them.

Acting

Most of the acting was well done, though this wasn't really a movie for great acting; much of the delights in this film are from the spectacle of witchcraft known as special effects. The pages of the script just gobbled down this brew wantonly. Looking the part for the actor was far greater of importance than what was being said. There aren't any real face-to-face conversations with any to characters. At one point in the film Angelina Jolie's character spells a crow into a man and then directs him about doing her bidding. That is how everyone here goes about their business, directed, preforming a function, just another cog in the machine. Nothing had to be explained. Things happened because they must happen. It was willed that way after all. There is no second guessing it.

Overview

Right from the opening title I knew things were set up to be different and I was only surprised to find how different the story would end up being. Great pains were given to find a fresh perspective on this very old story and I believe Disney has done it. I admit there were times that I thought the direction was all wrong, that poetic license has been taken too far, but I have seen worst results. To say anymore would give too much away. Fear not, because the elements of a fairy tale are here, they have just been rearranged very differently. I didn't see this one coming.

Austenland
(2013)

Hopeless, Due Mostly To Lazy Writing
Plot

Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) is a Jane Austen nut who is in love with Mr. Darcy, the romantic male lead in Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice". She is intimately familiar with this story, for she has read it countless times and has continuously viewed the mini-series with Colin Firth and even has a life sized cardboard cutout of him as Mr. Darcy in her apartment. She believes the next logical step for her is to go to Austenland in England. Once there she becomes familiar with the males actors that she is supposed to form a relationship with, including the actor who is acting a lot like the fictitious Mr. Darcy, but she finds herself sneaking around with the guy who works in the stables. Now she is torn between sticking to the script and being engrossed by her fantasies or should she venture out and break away with this real relationship.

Character Development

The growth that the protagonist goes through is fairly predictable because she is such a Jane Austen fanatic you knew something was about to change, yet the change was more or less symbolic and did anything but dazzle me.

Acting

Keri Russell does a fine job for the most part. This role didn't really showcase her talents, because I have seen a better performance out of her in the feature length cartoon 'Wonder Woman' (2009). As Jane Hayes she didn't have much to say or a great deal to react to. Most of who she encountered were these broad stroke characters that are less lifelike than the ones out of you would find in the average comic book. They were loud and literally get in her face. Jennifer Coolidge played one of these vacuous characters. I don't know if she is supposed to be funny because she is so hopelessly annoying, but for me she was just plain annoying and oh so boring.

Overview

Not as enjoyable as I thought it would be with Keri Russell at the helm. I fault the writing more than anything else. The pace was just too slow and the other actors didn't really do an acceptable job supporting Russell who went along admirably. I thought that there would be more of a connection to Jane Austen's books which makes me question if the creators spent much time reading them in the first place. There was just so much material that could have been used and it is a shame it didn't make its way to the screen. The exchange between the characters played more for cheap laughs than anything else. I was hoping for the types of conversations right out of "Pride & Prejudice" and instead of that there is one guy taking off his shirt and an incredible awful play production that one of the characters wrote. It really felt like amateur hour. Yet there was one nice turn in the end that surprised me and made me think that the writing didn't fall asleep completely at the wheel. But by this time I was so underwhelmed that it almost didn't matter.

Fire with Fire
(1986)

Somewhat Dated, With More Sparks Than Fire
Plot

Joe (Craig Sheffer) is in a boy's correctional camp for driving a car that he did not own into a department store window. The movie starts with the camp's Boss (Jon Polito) directing Joe on a run and having a bunch of other boys chase after him. While Joe traverses the woods he spots Lisa (Virginia Madsen) posing for a picture that she is taking of herself. Lisa gets a glimpse of Joe before he runs off. Later they notice each other again when they walk into the same movie house. Because it is against the rules for Lisa to visit Joe in his correctional camp she advises a plan in the form of a school dance to get them together, but this soon proves not to be enough time together for the couple so Joe plans with his best friend the Mapmaker (J.J. Cohen) to find a romantic getaway for two.

Character Development

Like Romeo and Juliet this is a tale of love that was not meant to be and pretty much all the character development that took place was in this relationship. All the other characters were lightweight and one dimensional, which at times reacted poorly just so the plot could be moved along.

Acting

The principal actors did a fine job and some of the other cast did pull their weight. Others did a little over acting like Jon Polito playing the character "Boss". One reaction that stood out as comical was when an officer aimed a rifle at the lovers and someone had to knock the gun up in the air and it went off. That is definitely going overboard on the drama and not making it realistic.

Overview

For an 80s film it does seem a little dated and with the only characters of interest being the two lovers there is something to be said about this not being the best of films. Still if you desperately wanted to see Virginia Madsen in one of her earlier features this would be a good bet because the one film that I really would like to see released onto the market is "Electric Dreams" (1984). I thought that was a much better film and one that is nearly impossible to get a copy of, though they do sell the soundtrack. It is funny how in that movie she is playing a young woman who is much older than the character Lisa in "Fire with Fire", even though she was two years older in that younger role.

American Flyers
(1985)

One Hell of a Ride Back In Time
Plot

When David Sommers (David Marshall Grant) is not struggling as a college student, he is an avid cyclist who routinely goes on long bike runs. Recently his father died of a brain aneurysm and his mother fears that David has inherited the same condition as her husband. One night David's brother, Marcus (Kevin Costner), comes over for a visit. Marcus is a seasoned cyclist who has competed in several big races. He is also a practicing doctor with a steady girlfriend named Sarah (Rae Dawn Chong). After a series of tests are performed by Marcus, David gets a clean bill of health, but when David overhears Marcus talking he believes he really is going to die. Little does David know that the one who is endangered of dying of a brain aneurysm is his brother Marcus. Marcus had intended to keep this piece of information a secret because he didn't want anything to stand in the way of the big race he had planned to enter with his younger brother. Only Sara and a trusted friend know he may die any day now. Soon Marcus, David and Sara are off to train on the way to Colorado. Along the way the trio finds their way to a fast food restaurant where David meets Becky (Alexandra Paul) awaiting her hamburger order. She agrees to join him on his journey and become a part of Team Sommers.

Character Development

Because events are moving so quickly there most likely wouldn't be time for character development, yet some characters are noticeable changed to a degree. It is a little more than a crack of light, but it is there. One character that comes along is the mother, yet this character only has a bit part so the overall effect is marginal at best. David becomes a little more worldly and Marcus seems more grounded and at peace with himself. They are all layers of degrees.

Acting

The acting was fairly solid with the lend actors and the surrounding cast, though there was one scene I found cringe-worthy every time I see it. Even though it is during an emotional moment I thought it was completely over the top. Thankfully the scene was short and there were no more scenes that display this similar type of awkwardness. The only other time where events reached near this point was at a dinner party that got out of hand, but I can forgive this because in comparison this was a slight imperfection. I think the lesson to be learned here is that oftentimes less is more because over acting is drawing too much attention to one performer and not letting the writing and the other actors pull their own weight.

Overview

This is an enjoyable film that I have seen a number of times. It has some nice shots early on during the opening and some outstanding ones during the big race. The producers really went all out with quite a few of them. I wouldn't be surprise to hear that riders were injured during the course of filming. Needless to say the "Hell of the West", the race the staring leads entered onto definitely looked dangerous, living up to the hype that the movie was trying to sell the viewer on and then some.

Justice League: War
(2014)

The Justice League Reboot
Plot

In an effort to take control and rule the planet Earth Darkseid (Steve Blum) has sent a vanguard of soldiers to make ready the battlefield for war. While these soldiers have been operating they have also been taking prisoners which some people believe was the work of Batman (Jason O'Mara). Hoping to clear his name and put a stop to this wickedness the real Batman finds one of these soldiers in the act of abducting someone and tracks this solider down and discovers him planting some sort of device. During the pursuit of this soldier Batman meets up with the Green Lantern (Justin Kirk). They determine that the device is alien and the only one that they know who is also alien is Superman (Alan Tudyk) so they both decide to confront Superman. Meanwhile Billy Batson (Zach Callison) is getting to know Victor Stone (Shemar Moore) who shortly later has an accident that turns him into Cyborg and then it is not long before Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan) makes her way onto the scene. Now the question is: can this group of individuals who don't really know each other come together as a team before Darkseid can lay waste to the planet Earth?

Character Development

There are only the briefest moments of character development and they only come off wooden and over played and forced, though for the quick paced of events and the short length of the film there were some decent moments of interplay.

Acting

It was nothing really wonderful, but not completely awful either so it really worked out in the end. Some of the voice work better than others and it all could have been better, yet it all was a fair effort.

Overview

This story was enjoyable. I can see that this is really a re-imagining of these characters into a world where they first met for the first time and it was obvious that they were setting up the scene for the next movie in a likely series of ones to follow and there is no telling is how this is going to play when Warner Brothers brings Justice League to the big screen with live actors. It was noticeable that Wonder Woman's costume looked different and less exposed. I think the trick in telling a story with so many characters is giving each enough of their own screen time. Clearly in this tale the time was allotted to actually build a superhero from scratch and that took some time, but whatever a writer is going to do they cannot tell elaborate back stories for all their characters, not if they still want to tell a story with those characters because the movie would be unbelievable long otherwise.

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