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IMDb promises Drama, Horror, Mystery, and Fortitude delivers
The best summary I saw here said, "Superb show not for faint hearts or the lazy." That about sums it up. I'm shocked at all the negative reviews here.

I just finished Season 1. The story can be very hard to predict at times. When it's predictable I still wasn't *sure* I was predicting correctly.

Other reviewers' complaints: Character names aren't realistic - I don't care. Characters seem to act stupid or erratic - I agree, but that's part of the mystery of the story. Characters don't zip up their coats properly for the supposed temperature - really? Norway doesn't have sheriffs - this show is clearly intended to attract a global audience, not just Norwegians, so who cares if some aspects get watered down a bit for the general viewing public? Story is boring - I'm sure they didn't watch the same show I did.

There are a LOT of characters in Fortitude. It's the new style of TV, and it works here. There's a lot going on, including a lot of back-story explained along the way. And, most important to me, the characters are easily distinguishable. They look different, dress different, have unique faces (some are actors I recognize which helps). The casting here is superb and really helps one follow the twisting storyline.

Dark, moody, cold and somehow claustrophobic, Fortitude is a very fun show. Sort of like Northern Exposure but with the creepiness of X-Files.

The Last Man(s) on Earth

So good it almost doesn't deserve to be called a "B movie."
This movie is fantastic. Hilarious, weird, offbeat, mostly unpredictable. It starts weird and just gets cooler and cooler.

I watched this by accident, thinking it was the pilot episode of a TV show everyone is raving about ( I was amazed at the quality and style of this new TV show! It felt like something FOX would air in the early 90s - like In Living Color ( This is something totally new and different. I've never seen a movie quite like this.

Yes, it's a bit low budget. But the low budget quality actually fits the style of the two characters' YouTube videos. And key ingredients are definitely A-grade: lighting, acting. If you can enjoy seriously stupid funny, like Tucker and Dale vs Evil (, then this movie is for you! This movie deserves so much more than its current 3.6 rating. And right now it's free on Amazon Prime! Enjoy.

Event Horizon

Tense, honestly scary sci-fi
You want to be scared? This movie scared the bejeezus out of me. So much so I didn't watch it a 2nd time for eighteen years.

This movie is just a wee bit rough around the edges. Some moments are filled with a tad over-acting, or over-writing, creating drama artificially. And one or two little nit-picks in the story don't keep up with today's technology. But they don't stop the story. Still, overall, this movie freaks me out. There are scenes so slow and brutally honest where I had to cover my eyes still.

You want sci-fi horror? This is it. I'm surprised at the low rating.

... well according to IMDb I cannot post a review with less than 10 lines. By my math the above review contains 12 lines. So I'll throw this on here to hopefully convince the bot. Still, this is an awesomely scary sci-fi movie which mostly holds up from the 1990s to today. Highly recommend if you've seen all the biggest blockbusters.

The Equalizer

Mostly atmosphere, zero story
At the end of it all, I found this movie very boring. The story is old as dirt. The plot is so obvious that as soon as characters appear on screen one can identify, "He'll be killed," "She'll be kidnapped and used as bait," "Something bad's gonna happen to him," and my all-time favorite, "He's the innocent, likable guy introduced early then ignored for 90 minutes (so we'll forget about him), only to have him turn up as a hostage in the big showdown." And every prediction is spot-on.

Example of bad writing: Two thugs walking up to a door. The last thing Thug 2 says to Thug 1 as they approach the door, "Whatever you do, don't call him Little John." Very next shot, inside the door, Thug 1 starts talking smack... and guess what he does? When the setup is literally 5 seconds earlier, we all see it coming. Give us the setup in a different location, maybe? Or at least disguise the setup amidst a longer, funny/entertaining conversation? Nope, just lay out that one line setup, then walk on in. We the viewers will just deal with it.

Denzel's character is likable. I mean, insanely likable. Beyond the depth of my willful suspension of disbelief likable. He's always friendly, always in a good mood, always smiling. He's ecstatic just to be alive. Everyone loves being near him. He's never "just a guy." He's more helpful than a college professor, more inspirational than a priest, more motivational that a fitness instructor. Every scene in his workplace (which is visited repeatedly throughout the movie) includes no less than 2 background guys smiling giddily when Denzel arrives to work, and laughing loud at every word Denzel speaks. Going to work at Home Depot - sorry, "Home Mart" - surely isn't like that in real life.

But there's more to Denzel, isn't there? Who is this guy? Where'd he come from? Who knows? We'll never know. But clearly he's bad-ass. More moves than Shakira and deadlier than Seal Team Six. He seems to know how to handle any situation and any number of attackers - just because. No reason; he's just awesome. If you ever saw the classic comedy PLANET TERROR, just think of the scene, "Give him the gun. Give him all the guns." Because, ya know, he's just so bad-ass for no logical reason.

The bad guy was awesome. While Denzel's fight scenes were a lot of super-close blurry shots, the few scenes where the Bad Guy establishes his badness were rather good, very tense, very violent and cringe-worthy.

THE EQUALIZER has all latest bells and whistles with music, atmosphere, and build-up. The one female lead is developed nicely (especially compared to every other innocent victim who may as well have stepped out of Little House On The Prairie). Much of the movie is very tense, and keeps you hanging on to each scene, waiting to see what happens next. But ultimately, we all know Denzel will kick ass, so it's all just a waiting game. It felt very long. The wait is made so much worse when the viewer knows exactly what's coming. There's just no surprises here. You've seen this movie 500 times, I'm sure.

Oh yeah, and Denzel knows everything. He appears magically inside buildings and rooms where one shouldn't be able to sneak in. He has cell phone numbers one shouldn't have access to - the characters even comment on it, "How the hell did you get that number?!" No answer. Doesn't matter. It's a movie. Just turn off your brain and enjoy the tension building. How does Denzel know when the bad guys will appear at a time and place, so he can intercept them in the night? Don't know, doesn't matter, I guess. How does Denzel sneak into a closet-sized room without the occupant noticing? How does Denzel have time to set up his trap, rig wires, etc, without anyone seeing this work being done? Who cares, the resulting deaths are cool.

Go to sleep. Tune out. Enjoy. But don't expect to take this movie with you. You'll have forgotten it by the time you leave the parking lot.

Man of Steel

Clear your mind of the past 75 years, and you can enjoy this SUPERMAN
I owe much thanks to another IMDb review that stated essentially that - just forget everything you know about the Superman story, and you can enjoy this movie.

It was impossible for me not to draw parallels with Christopher Reeve's 1977 Superman. This story is certainly based on the history of Superman we all know. But it's been modernized - big time. So just brace yourself for this update, and you can enjoy this story.

The number of coincidences in the plot were annoying. Sometimes inconvenient loose ends are simply dropped and ignored (but try as I might, I couldn't forget them). And the shaky cam, while improved here, in my opinion, was still overused and over-the-top.

Unlike the 1977 movie where Reeves follows a straight path from Krypton, to farm boy, to hero, this Superman meanders. He struggles to figure out where to go, how to live his life, etc. I think this is why other reviews call the story line a "mess." But it's intentional. He's an outcast, in hiding, without an instruction manual. So his story is directionless and confused, for a long time. That's the real story arc of this movie. It's Clark Kent figuring out - what next? I was thoroughly entertained, thanks to the warning to clear my mind of expectations.

Olympus Has Fallen

Just okay. Decent action, but somehow just too trite.
It's impossible not to think of other movies to compare while watching OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. And that's the first clue that you're watching a mediocre movie.

Most key elements of this movie are very predictable. Either we've seen it before, or it was simply directed and edited in a way that foreshadows the next scene, and ruins the excitement factor.

Characters repeatedly do things the typical viewer would do differently (and would do better/smarter/faster). That makes it impossible to truly care for the characters.

The lead actors are pretty good in their roles, but there's little heart. I felt more of a connection to random background characters than I did to the stars. The audience should very easily relate to the hero. But he felt nearly paper thin. He had the strength of character, good morals, higher than average intelligence and balls to do the job, but I just didn't care too much about him.

It's decent action flick with lots of guns and explosions. But save your money and wait for the rental. You're not missing anything special here.

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Kni - ho-hum! yawn. excuse me - ight Rises
The Dark Knight - it looked good. The music score was great. It had mood - lots and lots of mood. The antagonist stole the show every time he walked on screen. Bane looked and sounded good. Every time I was stuck watching someone else, I wished Bane would return just so I can listen to him talk (and yeah, you had to focus, at times, to understand him).

They did a great job letting us know who was "in on it." One can easily see - and is often reminded, with great repetition - who knows Batman, who likes him, who distrusts him, etc.

By my lord, what a boring movie. I just didn't care one bit about anything on the screen. I was rather begging for it to end. This one I should have saved for a $1 rental. But to be honest, if I watched this from my sofa, I would never, never stay away two and a half hours through this.

My thoughts are with the families in Aurora, Colorado. I love the movies - particularly big-bang movies on the big screen. And I went to see The Dark Knight Rises partly out of sympathy and support for both the victims of that awful event, and also for the love of my summer pastime, movies on the big silver screen. So, you see where my heart is. I really wanted to like TDKR. But sorry, this movie was just plain boring.


AWESOME comedy!
I immediately voted this a 9-star. But a day later, I've upped my opinion to full 10-stars. I cannot think of a way to improve TED. It was simply hilarious.

As you might suspect, there's a lot of stupid humor in TED. When I saw the dumb jokes coming, I would mentally prepare myself to simply hold my breath until it was over, knowing that more intelligent humor would follow. But more often than I care to admit, the "dumb" humor wore me down until I burst out laughing like I haven't laughed at a movie since PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES or FAMILY VACATION. In my opinion, TED is an instant classic like those movies.

Sure, TED is offensive and gross. But it's freakin' funny.

I heard the "FAMILY GUY" connection only *after* seeing the movie. I had no idea who Seth MacFarlane was, nor this movie's relationship to FAMILY GUY. Full disclosure: I cannot stand Family Guy. I tried watching it long ago, like three times. Each time I lasted about two minutes and had to turn it off. Just terrible. But TED is hilarious. So if you hate Family Guy, that doesn't necessarily mean you won't laugh at TED.

There are lines, entire scenes, and facial expressions re-running through my head all day today.

Full-stars, thumbs up, all that. If you can stand some foul language, and foul jokes, and you enjoy cultural references (going back to 1980), then run, do not walk, to see TED.

The Hot Chick

so much better than the 5.4 rating
Was this movie kinda stupid? Yes. But you should know that going in. And knowing that in advance, you should allow yourself to enjoy it.

I just randomly caught this movie on TV and was very pleasantly surprised. It's silly, it's stupid, it's often over the top, it's heartwarming, it's well filmed.

And Rob Schneider was AWESOME in this movie. I was stunned. He really, truly, was fantastic playing the part of a teenage girl. It was as if Rob Schneider didn't know he was in a stupid, slapstick comedy. And as a result, he sells us the story even more completely.

I'm a child of the 80s, and this movie reminded me a bit of the original "Just One Of The Guys." For a simple good time, this movie will do just fine.

Man on a Ledge

6.6 is too low - It's better than that
Sure, the whole story is completely implausible. Then characters are cliché, and the story is trite. But I don't care. MAN ON A LEDGE worked for me.

I wanted some basic action flick, and this delivers. I watched the movie without watching the trailers, or even the clip loop at the beginning of the DVD. They do reveal too much of the story. Not knowing anything (much) about the story, I was able to enjoy some of the twists and turns. As thin as the plot was, it was still fun.

Don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. It's good, basic action and suspense, and leaves you feeling, "Eh, I was entertained for a while."

In Time

Sad waste of a great concept
IN TIME is not a complete waste of your time. It's just... so... disappointing. And it was really close to being good.

The writing is just awful. I can't believe this was scripted by the same person who wrote GATTACA (one of my all-time top 5 favorites). Justin Timberlake is a good actor, but there's only so much that can be done when starting from poor dialogue. If IN TIME is your type of movie, but you were disappointed, try GATTACA.

Terrible production. It's supposed to take place in a slum, but really felt sterile. Like a Dukes Of Hazzard episode shot on a Hollywood back lot. The streets were too clean, everything was too quiet and organized. Just throw in a couple bland extras in the background, have the cast say "ghetto" a few times, and expect the audience to accept it.

The storyline, particularly the last 30 minutes, was pretty much what I would've written for the ending - back when I was in the 7th grade.

Unrealistic math. These people are living day-to-day - literally. It's just too close to believe. Some more thought into this really awesome concept could have saved the idea.

So you start with a bad script, silly caricatures, sad dialogue, then direct the movie with no sense of excitement or tension, while not doing any production to give the movie the correct look and feel, and you have IN TIME, a neat idea, sadly disappointing. Just so close, but really forgettable.

The Tourist

Not nearly as bad as the reviews
IMDb rates this less than 6 stars. Yikes! I gave it a friendlier, solid 7 stars. I thought this movie was fairly entertaining.

It's true, there's a certain "lifeless" quality to it. And a lack of chemistry between the two leads. That's bad writing. There really needed to be MORE dialogue between the main characters, and MORE WIT therein.

But otherwise, I enjoyed watching Johnny Depp play a dorky tourist. Also enjoyed Angelina Jolie controlling every conversation, like a cat playing with its prey before devouring it. It was cute.

For a simple, mind-numbing distraction, THE TOURIST is nice enough. It's worth the $1 rental, for sure.

The Island

Surprisingly not sucky
Back when THE ISLAND was in theaters, I saw the trailers and thought little of it. Most notably, I thought the trailer ruined the whole movie (which I hate hate hate).

Much, much later I finally watch it on download. Not bad! Yeah, the story is simple and obvious. Viewers won't likely be surprised by anything. But this is mindless, action-packed fun. Glitzy high-speed chases, beautiful people (oohhhh Scarlett!).

The movie was a bit too long. Would've been better about 20 minutes shorter. But generally entertaining, not nearly the crap I had expected.

And yes, the subject matter of this movie has been done before, been done better. Watch MOON, for example.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Too bad about the trailer
This really was a very good movie. But the trailer ruined it.

This movie is more like a drama, with a very action-packed ending. The entire ending (all the action) is shown in the trailer. So the whole time watching this movie I was left wondering, "When is this going to happen? When is that going to happen?" Every exciting twist and turn shows up in the trailer, so I found myself watching just for the imagery, but always knowing what was coming next.

Some characters are absolute cookie-cutter and their story arcs can be foreseen instantly and accurately.

I would have given this an 8, but knowing the entire plot from beginning to end really detracted from my enjoyment. So I downgrade this to a 7.

Source Code

Sci-Fi action does not disappoint!
Source Code is now added to my top 20 all-time favorite movies.

This movie is excellent - if you like sci-fi. If you don't like science fiction, then this movie can't help you. You must be able to take a leap of faith with the premise of this story.

Why this movie is fantastic and deserves your time: 1) Quick-start. The action begins the moment we fade-in. The very first frame of the movie - that's it, game on. And don't think this is the typical gimmick of then going into flashback so we can see the "setup" for the action which started the story. Oh no. We simply jump into the middle of the action. The story has already started, and we're barely grabbing on for the ride.

2) Pacing. The hero does everything you want him to do, exactly when you want it, in the right way, at the right time. Sometimes confused, sometimes determined and forceful - always in the same frame of mind as us, the viewers. At no time was I waiting for the hero to "catch up" to me. And at no time was I left behind while the story raced ahead of me. It's a writing skill I greatly admire.

3) Characters. They are all believable. They react to situations the way you think people should react. You never "see" acting. You never say to yourself, "Oh come on, nobody would say that." Not in this movie.

My mind was engaged every step of the way through this thriller. There's no time to rest. And there's no filler scenes.

This movie has been compared to many. Source Code really stands out on its own, and is superior to most. If you liked or even mildly enjoyed some of the other movies to which Source Code has been compared, you should love this. Enjoy.


Bore-fest, sorry
I just sat through this rental. Barely stayed awake.

This seemed like the type of sleeper hit that is missed by the masses, but I really enjoy in rental. Boy was I wrong. This movie was just plain boring.

I knew from a previous review that this movie was not filled with aliens and not filled with special effect. "Cool," I thought, "a movie with a story about people." But nope. There's just not enough story here to keep a viewer awake. The two main characters do enjoy a wee bit of development. But that happens almost immediately - or at least we can see what it is. So the "story" goes nowhere.

Also, these characters didn't talk enough to each other. The movie too suddenly, too often, and for too long falls back on montages of supposed dialogue, overshadowed by mood music. So their story together just isn't believable.

Almost an okay movie. But just plain sleepy.


Too simplistic, too silly, too predictable
It's rare that I am surprised (or suckered) by a movie, by hype, or by a misleading trailer. But this one just didn't do it for me. Now, I see the high IMDb rating, and I trust that, more or less. So I do believe most people really like this movie.

But not me. I just didn't laugh. I could see most jokes coming before they got there. Same for the punch lines. It was like watching comedy writing in very slow motion. I realize Seth is a comedic icon of our time, but his voice just did not fit that alien. I couldn't get past it. It was weird.

Throughout the movie, I could *see* what they were trying to do. It was forced, fake and usually awkward. The timing wasn't there. The characters were cartoon-y. I just didn't buy it.

I did have a couple laughs during this movie. But mostly, I left disappointed.


Gripping, horrifying thriller
This movie scared the *@#$ out of me. I dare you to watch this at home, alone, in a completely dark room without distractions. Seriously, this movie gave me nightmares.

It was very well-filmed. I mean, excellent visuals of what is basically... the inside of a box. And Reynolds' acting is top-notch here. If this were not "just a horror flick," it would certainly have earned some Oscar nominations for acting, directing, editing.

There were times I asked myself, "What else can they do to make the inside of a box interesting?" And the movie always had an answer, shaking things up, surprising me with visual tricks.

Great story, great acting and directing, wonderful editing, and the ever-elusive skillful TIMING in a story where timing is everything. This film takes what appears to be very little and turns it into a roller-coaster ride of panic.

I highly recommend.

PS: Three days later I watched "127 Hours." Together, these movies are too much suspense in any 3-day time span!

PPS: I realize "Buried" is fiction and "127 Hours" is a true story. But if all you want is entertainment, "Buried" wins out easily.

The American

Excellent sleeper hit, gripping yet subtle
For most American viewers, this movie may be considered "slow" or "boring." Not for me.

There is a tension in this movie, created from the very start. It never lets up. George Clooney's character lives in a solitary world of paranoia, and he takes us there with him.

For a movie with guns and action, espionage, you might expect more explosions and big budget chase scenes. But that's not what this movie is about. What this movie is about is so much simpler than one would expect. And I didn't "get it" until the very end.

I enjoyed watching this story unfold and watching Clooney try to navigate the mystery of his surroundings. Plenty of exotic nudity didn't hurt either.


I should have rented this one.
Faster was okay - just okay. The early IMDb reviews (faked by the studio, perhaps?) set my expectations too high.

Dwayne Johnson is rather good in this role. He carries a lot of intensity, even when not speaking - and he's NOT speaking an awful lot. Just quietly intense. Kudos to Dwayne Johnson in that regard.

There's a fair amount of action, but it's simplistic and underwhelming. For a movie titled "Faster," I expected it to be more... well... faster, and non-stop. But the action stopped often. At times the drama was drawn out and silly.


Some plot lines were very trite. "Just this one last job, honey, then I can retire, I swear." I think every character with a name had some version of this plot device going on.


The story, for me, unfolded too easily. The ending felt like it was supposed to be an "a-ha!" moment. But I unraveled the story about halfway through. Pretty obvious, in my opinion.

This would make a fine rental. Perhaps even better as "background" noise during a poker game, or some other household activity.

I cannot quite recommend this. Just not quite.


IMDb reviews saved this movie for me!
Hereafter is a great movie! However, it might not be the movie you expected. The trailers are a bit misleading.

I'll ruin the first 3 minutes of the movie, if that's okay...

The movie opens with a tsunami that washes ashore at a fancy resort, clearly killing hordes of people. You see this in the trailer. They include it for shock-and-action value. So you might enter the theater expecting an action movie. That would be a huge mistake. You will be disappointed.

This is a drama - and a very good one. But don't be distracted by a quick action sequence at the beginning of the movie. This is a story about people, told in a very slow, deliberate and dramatic style.

All things considered, the movie was a tad slow. They could have cut out 15 minutes somewhere. Problem is, I can't think of 15 minutes I would cut - any of it I would miss.

So this is how IMDb reviews saved this movie for me. The reviews had titles like "Rolls in like a lion, rolls out like a lamb," and "slow movie but sticks with you." These great review subject lines fixed my expectations of Hereafter. So I enjoyed myself at the theater. Thank you IMDb and IMDb reviewers!

Easy A

Suckered by promising trailer :(
I wanted to like this movie. It was a good concept, but it just failed for me. Without spoiling any storyline, here's just some stuff I could not get past: 1) When a movie starts with a character narration, that's just bad writing. Lazy. SHOW us, don't TELL us. That's Creative Writing 101, high school level. And the narration just never stopped. It was like listening to an audio book.

2) Everyone was just so overly quirky and funny. The main character, of course. But also her teachers, her parents especially, her friends and her enemies. All of them talked at an inhumanly fast and witty speed - like Robin Williams in the 1980s. It could be cute for a minute, or even for a whole scene, but the entire movie was just unbelievable.

3) While I'm accustomed to 20-something actors playing high school students, in this case, I was really distracted by the actors' obvious ages. For the first 15 minutes of the movie I thought they were in community college. Once I realized it was high school, I couldn't ignore how old they all looked.

4) Good storyline parts were abandoned. Sad face :( I won't ruin which parts.

It was a good idea for a story. Nearly there, had potential. But just flopped for anyone over 16 years of age. And mostly, I just wished the narration would shut up.


I don't care about the characters
I'm watching this now. More than halfway through at the moment. I'm so bored I took the time to write this review. So what can I say?...

I don't care about these characters. If they live, if they die, it doesn't matter to me. That's a very bad way to start a movie. I just don't care what happens.

As for sci-fi, this is a neat concept. Just very poorly done. It's got neat sets, great lighting, and some action scenes. But the writing is weak, to the point where it often embarrasses the actors.

The first rule of good writing is, "show them, don't tell them." In the opening sequence of Push, the whole background of the story is narrated to us. Sometimes this can be done cute. But not here. Here, it's just bad writing.


Didn't quite gel for me
Splice looked good, sounded good, obviously spent some money on production quality. But still, bad writing cannot be disguised.

Much of the dialogue was flat, unreal, and downright silly. Think: "Sure is quiet... yeah, too quiet." Twenty percent of the dialogue is THAT bad.

The ease with which these two characters perform their secret experiments was silly. At one point Elsa jumps into the lab while Clive bangs on the locked door outside. Voila! Ten seconds later a complicated scientific procedure is complete! That was easy.

The main characters took turns playing good cop/bad cop so many times I couldn't follow the story. First, Clive is the voice-of-reason, he tries to talk sense into Elsa. Then he goes crazy, taking the laws of God, nature, and the United States into his own hands; Elsa tries to stop him. Then back, then forth, then back again, and forth again. Neither of these two people could decide what their motivation was, what they wanted.

I didn't care about anybody on the screen. I nearly walked out, but forced myself to stay, just to see what happens.

The special effects were good. And the story was laced THICK with all the current real-life arguments about DNA manipulation, human cloning and experimenting, etc. So the movie is closely tied to today's science and politics, and touches many sides of many arguments.

I should've waited to rent it.

The Blind Side

Non-stop Hallmark card, you'll love every moment
This movie was perfect. I loved it.

It was completely predictable. I mean, every individual scene was predictable. And I always knew what the next scene would be. And eventually, there it would be, just as I expected. Nothing is surprising.

But who cares? This movie really made me feel good from start to finish. I can sew why it ran and ran in theaters for so long. Sandra Bullock really earned that Oscar. She was great to watch.

I was mildly annoyed that the Oher character (ya know, the main guy in the movie, and all) rarely put two words together. I know he's supposed to be simple, but I thought he must've talked more than that in real life.

This is like a long Hallmark card. But it doesn't make you sick; you love every moment of it. A week later I'm still replaying scenes in my mind.

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