jpozenel

IMDb member since May 2003
    Highlights
    2015 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    75+
    IMDb Member
    17 years

Reviews

They Shall Not Grow Old
(2018)

I suggest watching the DVD extras before watching the documentary.
There is not much secret about what this is about, except for the many details of how it was actually done. Watching the making of the documentary on the DVD "extras" enhances what you will see. It is excellent and maybe equally as good as the documentary itself.

Watching extra DVD features before watching a "movie" is something that I would never suggest, but in this case, I do so strongly. Watching them after the documentary made me feel like kicking myself for not looking at them first, but how was I to know?

Just to let you know, the magic done does not appear until about 25 minutes into the documentary. It's almost like watching Dorothy stepping out of the house once it landed in Oz. It truly felt amazing to me.

The Moonlighter
(1953)

Pretty good Western with a pretty lame ending
Anyone else but Barbara Stanwyck would have delivered her character's lines and they would have sounded completely corny. Somehow she always sounds believable. It's not a great story, but not bad, until the ending. It simply fell flat and was disappointing. I was expecting more.

Life of a King
(2013)

An after school special.
Whenever is see that a movie is based on true events I'm thinking that it may be good or it may be bad. The true events in themselves don't necessarily make for a good movie.

To me it felt like one of those afternoon specials that were meant to teach you a lesson. They usually weren't well made and the storied were often kind of lame. I don't blame the actors. I blame the writers and directors.

Double Indemnity
(1944)

Great movie in every way. One silly minor gripe though.
The one scene in the movie that I had a problem with, was when Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck) called from the drugstore and was on her way up to Walter Neff's (MacMurray) apartment and Barton Keyes (Robinson) got there first. When she was smart enough not to enter the room after hearing the conversation with Keyes, she hid behind the door when it opened. I have to say that I can't remember ever seeing any apartment, hotel/motel, or house door that swung outward when opened. Of course, the scene wouldn't have worked otherwise. Maybe doors were different in 1944?

See? I told you it was a silly minor gripe. Great movie though.

Run
(2020)

I gave it a chance and watched the full first season
The show is really awful. I'm totally uninterested in anything about it. Before the last episode came on it was announced that it was the season finale. I wouldn't be surprised if it were the series finale as well. Whether it is or not, it's off my DVR list of shows to records. It was a real time-waster. The only bright spot is that the episodes are just a half-hour long.

Homeland: Prisoners of War
(2020)
Episode 12, Season 8

Not your usual series ending...but in a good way
Usually series endings are very disappointing. I felt that this one would be as well, right up to the final minutes. I found it to be a satisfying ending for an impossible situation.

Some people are always looking for plot holes, and will find them even if there are none. I am not one of those.

Deputy
(2020)

Mindless pablum...don't waste your time!
I liked Stephen Dorff in season 3 of "True Detective", so I scheduled my DVR to record "Deputy". After about 10 minutes into the first episode, I deleted that episode and removed "Deputy" from my scheduled recordings. It is beyond me how garbage like this continues to be churned out. You really do not need to see the whole episode to realize that there is no way that it will get better. I have been caught in that trap before and will not fall for it again.

Sure, you have to work to pay the bills, but Stephen, you can do much better than this! Hopefully this will be the first and last season so you can move on before more damage is done.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Man with Two Faces
(1960)
Episode 11, Season 6

I enjoyed "The Man with Two Faces" more than most episodes.
Some think the story line was somehow predictable, but I didn't think so. First one twist and then another at the end. I'm not one of those Monday morning quarterbacks that says they saw it coming all along. One reviewer mentioned that they mistook Bethel Leslie for Paula Prentice. I didn't see that at all. If anything, I'd say that she resembles Lee Remick somewhat. Overall, it was a very good episode with some pretty good acting.

Naked and Afraid: Stalked on the Savannah: Part 1
(2019)
Episode 13, Season 10

One of my favorites
This 2 part episode is one of my favorites because the two survivalists got along so well without any serious disagreements, despite the 20 year age difference. I would like to see Jesse on an XL seasons. She had a great attitude, was tough as nails, and had skills.

Naked and Afraid: For Better or for a Lot Worse
(2019)
Episode 9, Season 10

Worse episode ever.
The producers need to rethink pairing couples as they did in this show. So much "honey", "baby", "sweety", "love you", "love you too"....it got to the point where it makes you want to gag.

The Americans: START
(2018)
Episode 10, Season 6

Fantastic series with a less than fantastic series finale
I give the series 9 stars for the entertainment that it has provided for six years. It seemed like a good idea not to go into too many more years and to end on a high note. But this didn't seem like a high note at all to me. As much as I was disappointed with the Soprano's series finale, I am equally disappointed the the series finale for The Americans. Also, there were fewer episodes in this final season than any other which makes me feel like the writers just threw in the towel and said "let's go home, we're done." Great series, poor finale.

Atlanta: Teddy Perkins
(2018)
Episode 6, Season 2

Totally unexpected episode
The Teddy Perkins episode is a huge departure from all other episode. If this was an episode of The Twilight Zone, it would be one of the most memorable. Donald Glover has some strange things going on his mind. I'm glad that he has this show to let them out for us to see.

Bellevue
(2017)

Couldn't get through episode 2.
I really like Anna Paquin so I had high-hopes for this show. I barely got through the first episode and quit after about halfway through the second. The story line is very weak and the dialog is simply inane, so I blame the writing and possibly directing as the main cause(s) of my disappointment. I saw one reviewer comparing the show to the first season of True Detective, which I found to be laughable.

There's many shows that I can stream that are of better quality than this show, so I can't see wasting time watching Bellevue. I've heard that the second season has been cancelled and that isn't a surprise to me.

Hacksaw Ridge
(2016)

Could have been a great movie
If it hadn't been for the typical overdone battle scenes, this could have been a great movie and a tribute to the man it was about. Anyone who has had any kind of military training can see that the battle scenes were totally over the top and unrealistic. There didn't seem to be any kind of battle strategy. There were so many weapons that never have to be reloaded, and when they fire them, they almost never miss the target. Even fully automatic weapons being sprayed wildly never seem to miss. Go to a shooting range and see how many there can shoot anywhere near that good, and those are the ones that go there on a regular basis. If you've never been, see if you can rent a gun. You'll be surprised at how difficult it really is. Granted, a rifle is much more accurate than a pistol, but in the high stress of battle, it's not going to be like shooting at targets. People that believe this kind of "action" are the same ones that probably think that police can shoot the guns out of the bad guys hands. It's just impossible to shoot that rapidly with any kind of accuracy. This was a golden opportunity to make a really good movie about an important character in American history, but it missed the mark. Life is not a video game.

Code Black
(2015)

This show has become a bad soap opera
After season one, I gave this show a pretty high rating. After the second season I had to downgrade that rating considerably. The scripts have gone downhill and are always trying to tug at your heartstrings to a degree that is simply unbearable. The relationships between the characters is not compelling at all. I'm sure that some of the actors are quite good, but not with these scripts and direction. And does every show have to end with sing-songie music dubbed over the last 5 minutes or more? It's lazy and ineffective, and seems to be indicating how we should be feeling...I find that insulting. I guess we're supposed to get all teary-eyed, but for me it is causing a gag-reflex. And please, get those whiney relatives out of the emergency room and get some work done. The show has become so very predictable and really has nothing to offer me anymore. I grew up watching the old Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey shows and those were far better than this. Like I said, this show has become a bad soap opera. I can't see watching another season, so if it gets canceled, that's fine with me.

Secrets and Lies
(2015)

After the second season, I'm out!
I watched the entire first season and didn't find the show very satisfying at all. The actors are not bad actors, but given a script with soap opera dialog, poor directing, and an ill-conceived plot, it's not easy to give a good performance. I'm well into the second season now and it's actually worse than the first. I'll try to get through the rest of the season, but every time a new episode pops up, I don't feel in any way compelled to view it immediately, and when I do get around to watching, it feels like a chore. So if it goes to a third season, that will not be one I'll be watching at all. Whether it gets canceled after this season or not will not be a concern to me...I just can't stand watching it any longer.

The Lieutenant
(1963)

Wondered how it would hold up for me over the years.
I remember watching this show when I was 13 years old and I really enjoyed it. Now I'm seeing it again on the local HDTV over-the-air station. I wondered how it would hold up for me over the years and I'm very surprised after watching the show again that it really was quite a good show. I had some limited military experience not too long after the show originally aired, so now I'm watching the show for authenticity of the military, and it seems to be pretty much spot-on. Seeing how this is a Gene Roddenberry was the creator and producer of the show, I wonder if Gary Lockwood was ever under consideration for the role of Captain Kirk in Star Trek. I think he would have been great and wouldn't have "hammed it up" as much as William Shatner. But then of course, "The Lieutenant" lasted only one season so who knows what may have happened?

Drive
(2011)

Dropped my rating of 8 to 6 because of the terrible soundtrack.
There seems to be a growing trend of using "pop" songs as a bigger and bigger part of the soundtrack in movies. I've seen quite a bit of this being done on television shows and increasingly in movies. It just seems lazy to me.

If they had paid someone to create a "real" soundtrack, the movie would have been so much better. I was watching the extras on the DVD and someone (I think it was the producer) compared this movie with "The Good the Bad and the Ugly" and "Bullitt". If they had been using this silly technique to create soundtracks from a mixed bag of "pop" songs back then, what a sad experience watching those movies would have been.

I would love it if they would re-release this movie with a real soundtrack. And I'm pretty sure that all of the actors involved would support that idea. They probably thought that they were going to create a pretty good movie but were disappointed when they saw the result with that lousy soundtrack. For me the movie went from a letter grade of "B" to a "D" (80% down to 60%) because of that alone.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, The Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson, and all of the other big time directors will start doing the same. Nah...I don't think so. Why? Because it would be stupid! Just imagine if the greatest movies from the past used this technique. It's laughable.

Politist, adjectiv
(2009)

You're kidding, right?
After watching this movie that currently has a IMDb rating of 7.0, all I can ask is "you're kidding, right?" Are things so bad in Romania that this passes for entertainment?

I hope that I'm not giving anything away, but there is a scene where the lead character was eating soup for about five minutes or so, alone and in silence, except for the sounds of his slurping the soup. Not exactly what I would call exciting police action. Watching him trail a couple of kids over and over again through the streets on foot didn't exactly have me on the edge of my seat either. Watching him waiting outside of his boss's office for several minutes while his partner reads the paper and the secretary is typing on her computer keyboard and clicking the mouse...not good either. (I hope I didn't ruin it for anyone.)

Where exactly was the scene or scenes in this movie that influenced so many people to rate the movie so highly? Am I just not sophisticated enough to see the genius in this movie?

You could easily find standing in a line at the DMV, waiting in your doctor's office while he's running 45 minutes late, or being caught in a two hour traffic jam during a snowstorm to be just as entertaining.

The Phenix City Story
(1955)

I enjoyed the movie.....but....
I did enjoy the movie, and found it especially interesting because it was based on a true story. My rating would be based mostly on the fact that it was not a fictional story. Many of the actors were old familiar faces that I've seen so many times over the years on television and the movies. The acting by the more established actors was reasonably good, while the performances by some of the lesser or unknown actors left something to be desired.

After watching it, I thought I would see if I could find out some more facts about the whole incident. I did some research on John Malcom Patterson (son of the murdered father) and found out that he eventually became the governor of Alabama. The article on Wikipedia about him, especially about his time as governor just prior to George Wallace, sheds a different light on the man who was the hero of the story. It was a bit disappointing to read these negative things about him.

L'enfant sauvage
(1970)

Disappointing
I recently read T.C. Boyle's book of short stories "Wild Child: and Other Stories". The final story in the book was "Wild Child" that is about this same boy "Victor". Boyle actually refers to this story as a novella. It is quite a bit longer than all the others.

After hearing T.C. Boyle in a radio interview mention this movie, I decided to get a copy from my library after finishing the book. Compared to his story, the movie is very disappointing. I find his writing to be almost incomparable, and this story really captures "Victor" far better than this movie.

If you have seen this movie and liked it, I can only recommend that you read "Wild Child: and Other Stories". And I'm certain that if you haven't seen the movie and read the book first, you too will be disappointed in the movie.

To Live and Die in L.A.
(1985)

A truly terrible movie
I believe that three things make this a truly terrible movie. First would be the writing. The dialog in this movie is some of the worst that I have ever heard. William Friedkin wrote the screenplay for the movie.

Second and third would be the directing and the acting. William Friedkin is the director. The overall poor acting seems to be more the result of poor direction rather than several actors all putting in terrible performances.

I must say that I have never seen anything that William Peterson has been involved in that I liked. I think that he is one of the worst actors I have ever watched and believe that in his case, poor directing or good directing would have made no difference. He's just a very poor actor. His on screen swagger is especially laughable.

The portrayal of secret service agents in Los Angeles as "Mod Squad" types, was absurd. The mechanics of the chase scene were quite good, but much of it just didn't make any sense. At one point the car being chased is stopped and completely surrounded by FBI men with fully automatic weapons, and the driver (William Peterson) decides to make a run for it. This happens after one of the FBI agents was mistakenly killed. I have no doubt that in a real situation, their car would have riddled with bullets by the FBI.

The camera work was good and you get the see the seedier side of L.A., but that can't possible make up for an otherwise terrible movie. I can't believe how high the rating for this movie is on IMDb. I assume there are a lot of C.S.I. fans out there that are giving this stinker high marks. Even Willem Dafoe couldn't make me like this movie any more than I do. I found the movie to be a complete joke, and a bad one, on me.

Extract
(2009)

The funniest movie I've seen in quite a while
I've seen Mike Judge's "Office Space" and liked it. I've seen some "Beavis and Butthead" episodes and thought they were pretty funny. I've seen some of the "King of the Hill" episodes and thought they were pretty funny.

I've seen some comments that indicate that this movie is not as good as his (Mike Judge's) other projects, and some that indicate that it was downright terrible.

I thought "Extract" was great! It seemed like every character in the movie was very funny, even Ben Affleck who I normally don't care for that much. Jason Bateman played the one character that seemed the most sane, who eventually does some pretty insane stuff himself. David Koechner, who played the neighbor, was good for a laugh in every scene. J.K. Simmons, who played a supervisor in the extract plant, was as good as I've ever seen him. Dustin Milligan, who played the hired gigolo, was such a funny pathetic character.

I really can't think of one actor in the movie that wasn't well cast and very good in their role.

This is the kind of movie that I would recommend to a friend, and ask if I could watch it with them again. I think the very negative comments that I've seen here to be completely absurd!

The Hangover
(2009)

Definitely over-hyped
It's hard for me to believe that this movie has a rating of 8 stars, while I feel that I'm being extremely generous giving it 6 stars. It kind of reminds me of when I saw Slumdog Millionaire last year which was also a movie that was over-hyped until it actually won the best picture award. That was a complete travesty. This movie, though not nearly as bad as Slumdog, certainly doesn't deserve the praise that I've been hearing.

It won the Golden Globe award a few nights ago for "Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy". Now that I've seen it, that is so hard to believe. The only other movie that was nominated in that category that I have watched so far was "Julie & Julia", which I thought was a better movie. I'm sure that after I see the other movies nominated in that category, there will probably be a couple more that I would rate higher than "The Hangover". I can't say that positively, but I feel pretty certain that will be the case.

This movie, like Slumdog will be forgotten in a few years by most, but will still unfortunately be in the record books. And all the 10 star ratings? I think a lot of people saw this movie drunk because they felt that it was the appropriate thing to do!

The Middle
(2009)

Really enjoyable comedy
There's a number of shows that I record every week and this is one of them. Whenever I go to catch up on watching shows that were recorded, there are some that are starting to feel like a chore to watch, but I always looks forward to watching this one.

I was never a fan of "Everyone Loves Raymond" so I never saw too much of Patricia Heaton, but she's really very good in this show. I think most of the characters in this show are really well cast. I think Eden Sher as the daughter "Sue" is terrific. She's such a lovable nerd. Neil Flynn who plays the husband "Mike" is funny and believable. Atticus Shaffer as the youngest son "Brick" is pretty bizarre, but somehow I find myself laughing at him, especially when he repeats to himself in a whisper, the last word of his sentences. I can't explain why, but it's funny to me every time he does it.

I hope the show doesn't get old for me. I've watched the first 9 episodes so far and haven't been disappointed yet.

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